Barely 24 hours after soldiers overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Kéita of Mali, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has suspended the country from all its decision-making bodies with immediate effect.
The community’s Directorate of Communications in a statement on Wednesday, said the suspension is in line with the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and will remain in place until effective constitutional order is reinstated in the country.
ECOWAS has also closed all of the country’s land and air borders, stopped all economic, trade, and financial flows and transactions between ECOWAS member states and the country.
The sub-regional body has urged the soldiers to return to their barracks as well as reinstate the deposed president.
The mutinous soldiers had on Tuesday arrested President Ibrahim Boubacar Kéita and the head of the country’s parliament.
Keita which is still the soldiers custody resigned on Wednesday and also dissolved the parliament.
ECOWAS called for his release and the release for all those detained by the soldiers.
“Following its statement published on Aug. 18, reporting on an on-going mutiny within the Malian Armed Forces, ECOWAS has noted with great concern the seizure of power by Malian military putschists.
“This seizure of power intervenes within a difficult socio-political context.
“Indeed, ECOWAS recalls that a mediation process has been on-going during the past two months, with a view to finding a solution to this crisis.
“Following this power grab by Malian military putschists, which is likely to have a negative impact on peace and stability in Mali and in sub- region, ECOWAS utterly condemns the overthrowing of President Ibrahim Boubacar Kéita’s democratically elected government,” the community said in the statement.
It said that ECOWAS “categorically denies any kind of legitimacy to the putschists and demands the immediate reinstatement of the constitutional order.
“Reminds the military of their accountability for the safety and security of President Ibrahim Boubacar Kéita and officials arrested.
“Demands the immediate release of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and all official arrested.
“Suspends Mali from all ECOWAS decision-making bodies with immediate effect, as per the Additional Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, and this, until effective reinstatement of the constitutional order.
“Decides to close all land and air borders, as well as to stop all economical, trade and financial flows and transactions between ECOWAS member states and Mali, and encourages all partners to do the same.
“Requests the immediate activation of the ECOWAS Standby Force, and demands the immediate implementation of sanctions against all putschists as well as their partners and collaborators.”
ECOWAS said it has decides to dispatch a high-level delegation to ensure the country’s immediate return to constitutional order.