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The Community of West African States condemned, during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, the arrest of the Malian president and his Prime Minister by “coup soldiers”, demanding their release and announcing immediate measures including the border closure.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced, on the night of Tuesday August 18 to Wednesday August 19, having decided to close the regional borders with Mali and to “suspend” this country from all its bodies. decision “with immediate effect”.

This decision follows the arrest on Tuesday of Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and his Prime Minister Boubou Cissé by soldiers during a mutiny.

In a statement, the regional organization “condemns in the strongest terms the overthrow by putschist soldiers of the democratically elected government of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta”, faced for several months with a wave of protest unprecedented since the coup d’état of 2012.

The ECOWAS “categorically denies any form of legitimacy to the putschists and demands the immediate reestablishment of constitutional order,” the statement said. It “demands the immediate release” of the Malian head of state and “of all arrested officials”.

Suspended financial exchanges

ECOWAS said it had also suspended all financial exchanges between its 15 members and Mali. Finally, the West African organization “calls for the immediate implementation of a set of sanctions against all putschists and their partners and collaborators” and “decides to send a high-level delegation to ensure the immediate return of order. constitutional “, according to the statement.

A videoconference of ECOWAS Heads of State on “the situation in Mali” will be held on Thursday under the chairmanship of Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou, the Nigerien presidency also announced.

The Malian head of state and his Prime Minister were arrested late Tuesday afternoon at President Keïta’s home and taken to the Kati military camp, in the suburbs of Bamako, where the revolt began at the start of the day. .

With Reuters and AFP

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