A dozen leaders of the member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) demanded that a new civilian prime minister be appointed “immediately” in Mali and that an “inclusive” government be formed, the summit concluding communiqué said. . They are not asking for the return of the former president and prime minister, who were arrested and deposed by the military on Monday, but they do want both politicians currently under house arrest to be released immediately.
“The heads of state strongly condemn the recent coup” and “decide to suspend Mali from the institutions of the ECOWAS in accordance with the provisions” of the alliance, the statement said. Leaders also emphasize that the political transition initiated after the first coup in August 2020 to return power to citizens should last a maximum of 18 months and that elections will take place in February 2022 as foreseen.
Mali has been struggling with instability and Islamist terror for years. A UN mission is active in the country to bring stability. Belgium also participates in this peace mission (MINUSMA), as well as in the EU training mission (EUTM).