Nigerien president urges Mali’s military junta to work with ECOWAS to find solution to political crisis

Malian soldiers are greeted by protesters as they arrive at the Independence square. /AFP

Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou said on Monday the military junta in Mali must work with the Economic Community of West African States to find a solution to the political crisis in the country.

Issoufou, the current chairperson of the West African bloc, made the remarks while opening the 57th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.

“It is the duty of our community to assist Malians with the rapid recovery of all democratic institutions. The military junta must help us to help Mali,” Reuters quotes the Nigerian president to say.

Mali’s military ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar on 18 August following weeks of protests in the country.

The 75-year-old and his Prime Minister Boubou Cisse were arrested alongside other government officials after the move by the military.

Keita was held in detention for 10 days, with the military justifying the move saying it was necessary for his own security. Upon his release, he was flown abroad for medical treatment.

The ECOWAS Summit in Niamey was expected to focus on the Mali situation as well as the region’s COVID-19 situation.

Among the leaders who travelled to Niamey for the Summit include Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari, Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo, Senegal’s Macky Sall and Gambia’s Adama Barrow.