The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has called for the “unconditional release” and “immediate reinstatement” of Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta “in accordance with the constitutional provisions of the country.”

A press statement, which was signed and issued by the Community’s President, who doubles as President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, on Thursday, 20 August 2020, after a virtual summit also demanded the release of all other officials in military custody.

ECOWAS members have also decided “to close land and air borders, as well as, stop all financial, economic and trade flows and transactions” with Mali, except the trade of basic necessities, such as medicines and COVID-19 medical logistics, fuel and electricity, and encouraged all partners to follow suit.

The statement added that the community plans on dispatching “a high-level delegation to Mali, tasked with ensuring the immediate return of constitutional order,” the president added.

The Community strongly condemned the mutiny and terrorist attacks in Mali and its neighbouring countries.

On Tuesday, 18 August 2020, soldiers seized and detained President Keïta, which led to his resignation.

The soldiers have since assumed office and formed the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP).