Nigeria, France, US, UN, Condemn Mali Coup, Demand President Keita’s Release

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SWITZERLAND, AUGUST 20 – The governments of Nigeria, France and the United States, as well as the United Nations(UN) security council have condemned the Tuesday coup de’tat that overthrew Mali’s President Ibrahim Keita. This follows Mali’s suspension from the Nigerian-dominated Economic Community of West-African States (ECOWAS).

Keita resigned on Tuesday night after he was arrested by mutinying soldiers, alongside the Prime Minister, Boubou Cisse, despite the mediating efforts of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, who is the (ECOWAS) special envoy to Mali.

ECOWAS has already called for an emergency virtual meeting of the leaders of the regional body, to take place on Thursday.

Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, tweeted on Wednesday evening:

“The Nigerian Government unequivocally condemns the the coup d’état that took place in #Mali yesterday and demands the immediate and unconditional restoration of constitutional order. We welcome the urgent activation of the #ECOWAS Standby force.”

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, demanded the “immediate and unconditional release” of Keita and Cisse as diplomats in New York said the Security Council would hold emergency talks.

United Nations Security Council on Wednesday ordered Malian mutineers to immediately release detained officials, including the country’s president, and “return to their barracks without delay.”

The 15 members also “underlined the urgent need to restore rule of law and to move towards the return to constitutional order,” according to a Council statement.

The United States and France also released separate statements voicing deep concern about the turn of events and urged against regime change.

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the mutiny, according to his office, and said he supported mediation efforts to resolve the crisis by other West African states.

The US envoy to the region, Peter Pham, joined the calls for restraint and echoed its opposition to any “extraconstitutional” change.

Jubilant crowds have, however, gathered in the capital to cheer the rebels as they take over the government of the Sahelian nation.

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