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Buhari condemns Mali coup, calls for stability, others

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President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned ongoing crisis in Mali that led to ousting President Ibrahim Keita’s government by the military, saying only stability and peace can guarantee a lasting solution to the political unrest in the West African country.

Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse were detained on Tuesday by soldiers in a dramatic escalation of a months-long crisis in the country, a development which came hours after soldiers took up arms and staged a mutiny at a key base in Kati, a town close to Bamako.

Following his detention by the mutineers, Keita announced his resignation from his position, an action, he said was to avoid further political crisis in the country following continuous protests.

He explained that the need to mitigate plunging the country into more political turmoil necessitated his decision and as part of measures to prevent riot and bloodshed across the nation.

In its response to the development, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) yesterday suspended the Republic of Mali from its decision making bodies and ordered all member countries to close land and air borders with the country after the detention of President, Boubacar Keita by mutineer soldiers.

The West Africa regional body also demanded the immediate release of all cabinet members detained alongside the president.

But, reacting to the crisis on Thursday, President Buhari, through his social media page, described the development as a setback for regional diplomacy and stability.

According to him, all hands must be on deck to ensure the restoration of constitutional order and that the mutineers must act responsibly in its handling of transition process.

“The events in Mali are great setbacks for regional diplomacy, with 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.

“Nigeria strongly supports the efforts of ECOWAS Chairman, President Mahamadou Issoufou, for wider regional and continental consultations with ECOWAS, the AU and the UN, and the adoption of 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.”

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