Friday 28 August 2020

Mali coup: Again, Buhari, ECOWAS leaders in emergency meeting over military takeover

President Muhammadu Buhari has again joined other Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, in an emergency virtual extraordinary summit over the ongoing political crisis in Mali.

Buhari’s aide, Bashir Ahmad, made this known in a tweet via his official Twitter page on Friday.

“President @MBuhari participates in the virtual extraordinary summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS,” Ahmed tweeted.

“The discussions centre around finding a lasting solution to the political instability in the Republic of Mali.”

Recall that the ECOWAS leaders had earlier met via video conference on August 20, to deliberate on the same matter where they called for the immediate release of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali, and a return to constitutional order in the country.

The ousted Malian president, Keita, was released from detention by the military junta on August 27 in line with the request of the ECOWAS leaders.

The ongoing summit of the ECOWAS leaders would review the socio-political situation in Mali, following the insistence of the Malian military junta to stay in power for three years before returning the country to constitutional order.

The summit, chaired by the current ECOWAS Chairman and President of Niger Republic, Mahmadou Issoufu, is also expected to consider the report of ECOWAS Envoy to Mali, former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, who recently returned from Mali, where he interacted with the leadership of the military junta.

Those with President Buhari at the Council Chamber for the meeting include Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff to the President, Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Zubairu Dada, the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs.

Others are retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, the National Security Adviser to the President, and Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Abubakar Ahmed Rufai, among others.

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