President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to the military leaders that overthrew the Malian government to act responsibly.
Malian president, Ibrahim Keita, was forced to resign on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 after he was arrested and detained by military mutineers who referred to themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People.
Their actions followed months of political unrest in the West African country, spurred by the opposition’s rejection of the results of local elections held earlier this year.
The overthrow of the Malian government has been met with resistance from world leaders, and the country’s African Union (AU) membership has been suspended.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also suspended Mali’s membership and directed member countries to shut their borders against the country.
After a virtual emergency meeting of ECOWAS leaders on Thursday, August 20, Buhari said the action of the mutineers poses grave consequences for the peace and security of West Africa.
“It is time for the unconstitutional ‘authority’ in Mali to act responsibly and ensure restoration of constitutional order, peace and stability,” the 77-year-old posted on Twitter.
He said Nigeria strongly supports the efforts of ECOWAS Chairman, Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou, for wider consultations to adopt strong measures to bring speedy resolution to the situation.
“A politically stable Mali is paramount and crucial to the stability of the sub-region.
“We must all join efforts, ECOWAS, the AU, the UN and other stakeholders, and work together until sanity returns to Mali with the restoration of Civil Administration,” President Buhari said.
Thousands of Malian protesters have held demonstrations for months asking Keita to resign, seven years after the 75-year-old was first elected president.
He was accused of failing to effectively tackle the issues of corruption, insecurity, and economic woes.
The soldiers have said they were forced to intervene to prevent the country from falling into further chaos.
Colonel Assimi Goita announced himself as the leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People after meeting top civil servants on Wednesday.
“Mali is in a situation of socio-political crisis. There is no more room for mistakes,” he said.
He assured Malians that the group has no political ambitions and is very keen on transferring power to a civilian government as soon as possible.