West African regional bloc ECOWAS on Sunday suspended Mali’s membership in response to last week’s coup and urged authorities to adhere to a timetable for a return to democracy.
This was the decision after the Leaders of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States held an emergency summit in Ghana, the capital of Accra due to the military’s ouster of a president and prime minister for the second time in nine months.
In a communique after the summit, ECOWAS said Mali’s membership in the bloc was suspended with immediate effect.
Ghana’s Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchway said Mali’s suspension from ECOWAS takes immediate effect until the deadline of the end of February 2022”, when the country’s interim leaders are supposed to hand over to a democratically elected government.
ECOWAS said a new civilian prime minister should be nominated and a new inclusive government formed to proceed with the transition programme.
According to the communique, ” The leaders announced 27th February 2022 for the presidential election and should be absolutely maintained”.
There was no immediate response from Coloniel Goita, who was present at the summit.
Goita, a 38-year-old special forces commander, was one of several colonels who overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, last year.
He ordered the arrests of the interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane last Monday before they resigned on Wednesday and eventually released.