In response to the new political crisis in Mali, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Tuesday sent a delegation led by former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan to Bamako for mediation.
The mediators have met with the country’s senior military figures that carried out a second coup in less than a year.
This development comes after the Democratic Republic of Congo President, Felix Tshisekedi who is also the President of the African Union on Tuesday held a meeting with his Ghanaian counterpart, Nana Akufo-Addo who is also serving as the President of ECOWAS.
TOS News reported that Malian interim President, Bah N’Daw and Prime Minister, Moctar Ouane were on Monday taken into the custody of soldiers in what is described as a coup in a political twist.
Colonel Assimi Goita, Mali’s interim Vice President on Tuesday revealed that he seized power when the transitional president and prime minister violated the transitional charter by failing to consult him about the formation of a new government. He, however, promised the country’s elections will be held next year as planned.
He also accused the government of mishandling the situation in Mali, including a strike last week by the main union.
The European Union (EU) labelled the attempted coup “kidnapping” while the African Union(AU) United Nations (UN) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) condemned the move and called for the leaders to be released. The United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) have also disapproved the action.
The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for calm and the unconditional release of the leaders.
A military officer present at the meeting said the ECOWAS mediators raised the possibility of sanctions against the officers responsible for the takeover.
French president, Emmanuel Macron, on Tuesday said he was prepared to impose targeted sanctions over what he called “a coup within a coup”.
The Goodluck Jonathan ECOWAS led delegation is expected to provide details on the latest developments in Mali, to enable the AU and ECOWAS come up with a decision.