ECOWAS delegation visit to Mali

A delegation from the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is expected to arrive in Bamako on Saturday, August 22 after the bloc held an emergency summit on the situation in Mali.

ECOWAS has already suspended Mali’s membership, shut off borders and halted financial flows to the country.

The military commanders in Bamako, Mali captial, said they acted without further delay because the country was sinking into chaos and insecurity, which was largely the fault of the poor government. They have promised to oversee a transition to free and fair elections within a “reasonable” period of time.

Their spokesman Ismael Wague said on August 20 that the officers were holding talks with political leaders that would resume in the appointment of a transitional president.

They have detained Ibrahim Boubacar Keita at base not far from the captial, imposing the dissolution of parliament and his own resignation.

A United Nations human rights team visited Keita and 13 other senior figures held by the officers late on the same day August 20, spokeswoman Liz Throssell said.

“There are no indications that these people have been ill-treated,” she told a news briefing in Geneva, where she called for their release.

On Friday, August 21, the officers freed Finance Minister Abdoulaye Daffe and the president’s private secretary, Sabane Mahalmoudou, the head of Keita’s party Bocary Treta said.

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