Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government has called for the immediate and unconditional restoration of constitutional order in Mali.
This is even as the government said it welcomed the urgent activation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Standby Force.
The call by the Federal Government followed yesterday mutiny by some group of soldiers in the country which led to the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, made the call on behalf of the government on his Twitter handle, @GeoffreyOnyeama.
“The Nigerian Government unequivocally condemns the the coup d’état that took place in Mali yesterday and demands the immediate and unconditional restoration of constitutional order. We welcome the urgent activation of the ECOWAS Standby Force,” Onyeama said.
Earlier, ECOWAS in a statement issued in Abuja, utterly condemned the overthrowing of Kéita’s democratically elected government.
ECOWAS also categorically denied any kind of legitimacy to the putschists and demanded the immediate reinstatement of the constitutional order.
In the statement, ECOWAS also reminded the military of their accountability for the safety and security of President Kéita and officials arrested.
ECOWAS further demanded the immediate release of President Keita and of all officials arrested and suspended Mali from all ECOWAS decision-making bodies with immediate effect.
ECOWAS also decided to close all land and air borders, as well as to stop all economical, trade and financial flows and transactions between ECOWAS member states and Mali, and encouraged all partners to do the same.
Meanwhile, the mutinous soldiers have announced the creation of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) to lead a political transition toward general elections following the resignation of President Ibrahim Keita.
Spokesperson of the Mutineers, Col.-Maj. Ismael Wague, said this in a statement read on national television.
“We are not keen on power, but on the stability of the country, which will allow us to organise general elections within a reasonable time-frame to allow Mali to equip itself with strong institutions that are capable of managing our daily lives.
“In order to prevent the country from sinking, we, the patriotic forces gathered together in the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), have decided to take our responsibilities to ensure the continuity of the state and public services,” Wague said.
The spokesperson also announced a series of decisions coming into force on Wednesday until further notice, including the closure of all air and land borders, and a 9 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew.
The CNSP invited civil society and socio-political movements to join in order to create “the best conditions for a better civil transition leading to credible elections.”