Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have been left confused following Mali’s current political crisis.
The country’s coup leaders on Tuesday announced that they had seized power once more, after relieving interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane of their duties.
On Monday the sacked president and prime minister for the transitional government were detained by soldiers.
The soldiers reportedly were unhappy with a recently announced transitional government.
In a statement read on public television on Tuesday, Col Assimi Goïta said President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane had been stripped of their duties for seeking to “sabotage” the transition.
Col Assimi Goïta however said the transition will “proceed as normally, and the scheduled elections will be held in 2022.”
Goita led last year’s coup that toppled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, but following international pressure a transitional team led by a civilian was agreed on.
The African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the EU and the US have condemned the arrests.
They have demanded the release of the officials without any preconditions.
On Tuesday ECOWAS dispatched former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to Bamako, to try and find a resolution to the crisis.
He told reporters that “Of course we are here because there are some few developments that ECOWAS is a bit worried, and as the team that is mediating we need to come and listen to our people what has happened.”
When the military junta that seized power in Mali last year it didn’t want to leave power anytime soon as they demanded a military-led transitional body to rule for three years.
But Ecowas rejected those demands and imposed sanctions forcing the military leaders to give way to a civilian leadership to transition the country into constitutional rule.
The West African bloc now has a major task to ensure that the military leaders give back control of the government to a civilian ahead of elections next year.