West African countries close their borders with Mali

The community of West African states on Tuesday evening condemned the arrest of the Malian president and his prime minister by “coup soldiers” on Tuesday night and demanded their release and announced immediate action, including border closures.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced on Tuesday night, August 18 to Wednesday, August 19, that it has decided to close the regional borders with Mali and to “close” this country from all its bodies. decision “with immediate effect”.

This decision follows the arrest of Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and his Prime Minister Boubou Cissé on Tuesday by soldiers during a mutiny.

In a statement, the regional organization condemned “in the strongest terms” the expulsion of Putist soldiers from the democratically elected government by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta “, which for several months was met with a wave of unparalleled protests since the 2012 coup.

ECOWAS “categorically denies any form of legitimacy to the putschists and calls for the immediate restoration of a constitutional order,” the statement said. It “requires immediate release” of the Malian head of state and “of all arrested officials”.

Closed financial exchange

ECOWAS said it had also suspended all economic exchanges between its 15 members and Mali. Finally, the West African organization calls for “the immediate implementation of a set of sanctions against all putschists and their partners and collaborators” and “decides to send a high-level delegation to ensure immediate return of order. Constitutional,” the statement said.

A video conference between ECOWAS’s heads of state on the “situation in Mali” will be held on Thursday under the chairmanship of Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou, also announced by Nigeria’s presidency.

The Malian head of state and his prime minister were arrested late Tuesday afternoon at President Keitta’s home and taken to Kati’s military camp, in the suburbs of Bamako, where the uprising began earlier in the day. .

With Reuters and AFP