Panafrican News Agency

"We are working to restore constitutional order in Mali," says Ivorian president

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (PANA) - Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, who is participating by videoconference in an extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the socio-political situation in Mali, says that the meeting is aimed at adopting "strong measures" to restore constitutional order.

"We are mobilized for the adoption of strong decisions for a rapid return to constitutional order in Mali," wrote Mr Ouattara a few minutes before the opening of the meeting.

For his part, Burkina Faso's president, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, said "we are going to examine ways and means for a rapid return to constitutional order in this country. Because this serious crisis, like the coup d'état of 2012, poses serious risks to the stability of Mali and to the already fragile security in the G5 Sahel region.

"I hope that strong measures can be found at our summit to resolve this crisis so that we can focus on the fight against terrorism, which threatens the foundations of our nations," President Kaboré added.

Retracing the evolution of the crisis at the opening of the Summit, Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou, who is also the current chairman of ECOWAS, said it all started with a mutiny that took place on the morning of 18 August 2020 at the Kati camp.

This mutiny gradually evolved towards the control of the entire state apparatus with the arrest of high-ranking officers and high-ranking personalities, including the Head of State.

"Late at night, we learned that the president of the Republic, taken hostage by the putschists, dissolved the National Assembly and the government and then announced his resignation on radio and TV.

"We are therefore faced with a serious situation whose security consequences for our region and Mali are obvious. This situation challenges us. It shows us that the only option is the establishment of strong democratic institutions in our space," said Issoufou.

He recalled that in 2012, another coup d'état had allowed terrorist and criminal organizations to occupy two-thirds of Mali's territory for several weeks.