Within hours that renegade soldiers overthrew the government in Mali, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has warned that the Junta has automatically alienated and outlawed itself from the Community.

President of the ECOWAS Commission, Désiré Kadré Ouedraogo said in Abuja that the was deeeply concern and disappointed at the announced overthrow of the Government of the Republic of Mali led by Amadou Toumani Touré in the early hours of 22 March 2012, and its replacement by a military junta of junior officers, the National Committee for the Rectification of Democracy and the Restoration of the State (CNRDR), led by Captain Amadou Aya Sanogo.

“The Commission strongly condemns this usurpation of power from a democratically-elected Government, particularly just over a month before the nation is due to go to the polls to elect a new President. The action of the Junta is completely at odds with the provisions of the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and seriously undermines the painstaking gains that the ECOWAS Region has made in the last two decades to entrench democratic culture and the rule of law.” Ouedragogo said.

He said ECOWAS calls on the Junta to immediately relinquish power to the rightful Government so that the country could return to constitutional normality.

 

“The Commission wishes to remind the CNRDR of its responsibility for the life, safety and security of the President and members of his Government, the population, as well as the respect for state institutions.

“At this sensitive and difficult period for Mali, the Commission cautions the rebel MNLA against taking advantage of the situation to continue with atrocities and seizure of territory in the north. It urges the Movement, as well as all other armed militias in the north, to observe a cease-fire and lay down their weapons. Finally, the Commission appeals to all concerned to remain calm and avoid vandalism and acts liable to further inflame the situation. .” He further stated.

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