Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - West African leaders who met at an extra-ordinary summit in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, Tuesday suspended Mali from the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), following Thursday's military coup that toppled the country's democratically-elected government, sources at the meeting told PANA.
The regional bloc also decided to send a delegation of ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff to Bamako Wednesday to warn the military junta holding forte there against the perils of confronting the Community.
Another delegation of five heads of state is also heading to Mali later this week to reinforce the message to the junta.
If the efforts to persuade the junta to give up power and restore President Ahmadou Toumani Toure fails, ECOWAS is threatening more sanctions, including a travel ban and, ultimately, a military action to flush our the renegade troops and restore constitutional rule.
A delegation of the soldiers who seized power in Mali was in Abidjan, and said the low-ranking officers have lost confidence in their superiors.
The junta's representatives also reiterated their earlier statement, that their government's poor handling of the Tuareg-led rebellion in the north had hamstrung them from putting up a decent resistance against the rebels.
-0- PANA SEG 28Mar2012