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ECOWAS suspends Mali over second coup in nine months

Leaders of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have suspended Mali from their regional bloc in response to last week’s coup, the second coup in nine months by the poor Sahel country’s military. 

The group which stopped short of imposing new sanctions like those it imposed after the coup last August which saw members temporarily close their borders with landlocked Mali and halt financial transactions, took the decision at an emergency summit in Ghana’s capital, Accra on Sunday May 30. 

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 Botchwey said after the meeting; 

“The suspension from ECOWAS takes immediate effect until the deadline of the end of February 2022 when they are supposed to hand over to a democratically elected government.”

The final declaration called for the immediate appointment of a new civilian prime minister and the formation of an “inclusive” government.

Mali’s new president Colonel Assimi Goita had arrived in the Ghanaian capital Accra on Saturday for preliminary talks. Goita led the young army officers who overthrew Mali’s elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita last August over perceived corruption and his failure to quell a bloody jihadist insurgency.

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