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West African Economic Community Acts Against Mali Following Coup

Aug 20, 2020

The Economic Community of West African States has acted against Mali following a military coup in the country. The 15 member states of Ecowas have closed their borders against Mali and have suspended ‘financial flows’. Mali has also been expelled from decision-making bodies. Ecowas is holding a virtual conference to decide what further action to take.

The BBC reports that the head of Mali’s special forces, Colonel Assimi Goita, has presented himself as leader of the new military junta, the National Committee for the Salvation of the People. He reportedly said to senior civil servants on Wednesday, “We have no political ambitions, we are soldiers, our objective is to rapidly transfer power.”

Coup leaders denied local media reports that four civilians were killed by gunfire during the military takeover.

Meanwhile, one of the parties in Mali’s opposition coalition, CMAS, said it would support the coup leader towards new elections. The party called for rallies on Friday “to celebrate the Malian people’s victory”. The head of the coalition, Imam Mahmoud Dicko, however, after meeting with coup leaders, announced his withdrawal from politics. There was no reason given for his sudden exit. The BBC reports that Imam Dicko was a central figure in the massive protests demanding President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta’s resignation.

Soldiers on trucks stormed a military base near the capital, Bamako, where gunfire was exchanged before weapons were distributed from the armoury, and senior officers arrested. Tanks and armoured vehicles as well as military trucks headed for, Bamako. Mutineer soldiers detained several government officials, including President Keïta, who resigned and dissolved the government. Keïta said on national television, Tuesday night, that he would resign as he did not want blood to be spilled to keep him in power.

According to the BBC, this is Mali’s second coup in less than 10 years, following the 2012 coup d’état.

Umm Muhammed Umar

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