Mali’s coup leaders have called for a national meeting to discuss the country’s transition back to civilian rule, as they seek a way out of a growing crisis that has brought debilitating sanctions on the country and further fuelled a Tuareg rebellion in the north.
Coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo told journalists on Tuesday that a national convention would begin on Thursday.
“Yes to the return to a constitutional order, but with a new Mali. Our Mali is sick in the depths of her being … To this effect, we invite the entire political class and all the actors of society to come without exception to the national convention,” he said.
Sanogo, who announced plans last week to restore Mali’s constitution, had earlier pledged to call a convention to determine what sort of body should govern before new elections are held.
Sanogo also said that the country’s toppled president, Amadou Toumani Toure, could face trial, accused of “high treason and financial wrongdoing”.
The offer to hold open-ended talks on transition to civilian rule came as people rushed to stock up on petrol and cash after the 15-state ECOWAS West African bloc launched trade and diplomatic sanctions aimed at forcing the leaders of last month’s coup to stand down. Read more…
The Authorities of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have asked member states with common boundaries with Mali to close their borders and seaports if the Malian coup leaders refused to restore constitutional order in the country.
ECOWAS’s directive on further sanctions on the military junta and Mali was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of an emergency mini-summit of its Heads of States and Government in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on the Malian crisis which was assuming new dimensions with the capture of a key northern town in the country by the Taureg rebels on Thursday.
The communiqué which was made available by the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja stated that the renewed directive on further sanctions would take effect from tomorrow if the Malian junta refused to facilitate the immediate restoration of constitutional order in the country.
The statement read in parts: “In fulfilment of its mission, the delegation set out for Bamako today, 29 March 2012, but could not land at the Bamako airport for security reasons as a result of chaos provoked by demonstrators at the airport. The Heads of State, therefore, returned to Abidjan to hold an emergency meeting.
“The Heads of State took note of the reports of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, the Foreign Ministers, and the Chiefs of Defence Staff, who had just returned from Bamako after their meetings with the Comité National de Redressement pour la Démocratie et la Restauration de l‘Etat (CNRDRE).”
The communiqué further explained that the regional economic bloc had decided to impose strict economic, political, diplomatic and financial sanctions on Mali.
“In application of these decisions, and after consultation and accord of all ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, Authority hereby adopts the following sanctions against Mali: Suspend the membership of Mali from ECOWAS, recall all ECOWAS ambassadors accredited to the Republic of Mali for consultation, impose a travel ban on members of the CNRDRE and their associates within the ECOWAS space, close all borders of ECOWAS member states with Mali, except for humanitarian purposes. Read more…