A politically stable Mali is paramount and crucial to the stability of the sub-region, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, tweeted Thursday.
West African leaders are holding an extraordinary summit on the socio-political situation in Mali after coup soldiers deposed the government of Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Tuesday.
“We must all join efforts, ECOWAS, the AU, the UN and other stakeholders, and work together until sanity returns to Mali with the restoration of civil administration,” Buhari said in three tweets.
He said Nigeria “strongly supports” the efforts of ECOWAS Chairman, President Mahamadou Issoufou, for wider regional and continental consultations with ECOWAS, the AU and the UN, and the adoption of strong measures to bring speedy resolution to the situation.
ECOWAS does not recognise coups and has suspended Mali from all its decision-making bodies, and shut borders to the landlocked West African nation.
Mali shares borders with Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d’Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west.
Buhari said the coup, led by a five-man National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), is a “great setback” for regional diplomacy, with “grave consequences” for the peace and security of West Africa.
“It is time for the unconstitutional ‘authority’ in Mali to act responsibly and ensure restoration of constitutional order, peace and stability,” the Nigerian president said.
In 2017, Buhari was directly involved in restoring stability in The Gambia, first by negotiations, followed by sending Nigerian fighter jets and a warship to enforce the election of Adama Barrow, bringing an end to a month-long political impasse.
By Modou Joof