Mali suspended over second coup in nine months by ECOWAS

West African leaders suspended Mali from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at an extraordinary summit Sunday but stopped short of reimposed sanctions, after a second military coup in nine months.

The putsch had sparked deep concerns over stability in the volatile Sahel region and warnings of fresh economic penalties.

Ten regional heads of state and three foreign ministers attended the summit in the Ghanaian capital Accra, with former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan serving as a mediator in the crisis.

“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,” Ghana’s Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said after the meeting.

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

In a statement, ECOWAS also reiterated that “the head of the transition, the vice-president and the prime minister of the transition must under no circumstances be a candidate for the future presidential election”.

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