Ecowas leaders discussing Mali coup

AL JAZEERA

West African leaders have gathered at a summit to discuss the turmoil in crisis-hit Mali after soldiers who overthrew an elected government in March repelled a counter-coup earlier this week.

Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are meeting in Senegal’s capital Dakar on Thursday to discuss the political crisis in Mali as well as that in coup-hit Guinea Bissau.

ECOWAS has has been mediating for a return to civilian rule in Mali since the March coup. The junta has handed power to a transitional government since then, though its troops remain highly visible.

Mali’s capital has been tense since soldiers loyal to ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure attempted to stage a counter coup on Monday.

Hospital officials said at least 22 people were killed in fighting between Toure’s loyalists and soldiers behind the earlier coup.

Two days after the attempted coup, gunfire was again heard in the tense capital Bamako on Wednesday.

The leader of the March coup has blamed the counter-coup on “foreign elements backed by dark forces from inside the country”.  Read more…

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