Buhari demands unconditional release of Malian President, others

By AdvocateNews on 21/08/2020

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Malian soldiers on parade at Independence Square in Bamako (AFP)
Malian soldiers on parade at Independence Square in Bamako (AFP)

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday faulted the development in Mali which led to the military toppling the government of President Ibrahim Keita.

Describing the development as a setback for regional diplomacy, the President called for unconditional release of Keita and others detained by the military.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President spoke at a virtual Economic Community of West African States Extraordinary Session on the situation in Mali.

The statement was titled ‘President Buhari says Nigeria stands by ECOWAS decision on return to constitutional order in Mali’.

Adesina quoted the President as saying, “The action of the military in Mali has regrettably hoisted on us as a sub-region, the need to decide the options that will be consistent with the provisions of the Protocol on Good Governance and Democracy, which ECOWAS, AU, and the UN subscribe to.

“In this context, therefore, Nigeria subscribes to the under-listed recommendations for action by our organisation: President Keita and other detainees should be released unconditionally and with immediate effect.”

Buhari noted that the removal of the Malian leader could spiral into more crises in the country, with devastating consequences for the West African sub-region.

He added, “Indeed, it saddens me greatly as we meet today to discuss the turn of events in Mali, which commenced on Tuesday this week, where President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, his Prime Minister and senior members of his government were arrested, resulting in the forceful resignation of the President as well as the dissolution of the Parliament.

“ECOWAS interventions, through series of efforts by ministers, the special envoy and chief mediator and a group of Heads of State of our organisation as well as an Extraordinary Summit did not yield positive results.

“Today, Mali has not only descended into political chaos, but also socio-economic and security disaster with potential tragic consequences to Mali and the sub-region.”

Buhari commended the African Union, United Nations and other international bodies for condemning the military coup in Mali.

The President also said Nigeria would continue to support the decisions of ECOWAS.

Posted 21/08/2020 09:59:45 AM


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