A West?African?economic bloc is sealing member states’ borders with Mali after mutinous soldiers?arrested?President?Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse?Tuesday.??
The Economic Community of West?African?States – ECOWAS – says it is also suspending all financial transactions?between?Mali and?its 14 other?members?and is, for now, removing Mali from its?decision-making?bodies.?
ECOWAS officials?have?called for?sanctions?on those it calls “putschists and their partners and collaborators.”?
An? African?Union Commission spokesman says Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat?strongly condemns the arrests of?Keita and?Cisse and?strongly?rejects any attempted?unconstitutional?change of?government?in Mali.??
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is?calling?for the immediate restoration of constitutional order and the rule of law in Mali. Council members France and Niger have called for a closed-door meeting of the Security Council Wednesday.
A?reporter for VOA’s?French?to Africa service says?soldiers?surrounded Keita’s house in the?capital of Bamako?and took him into custody. They?brought him and?Cisse to a military camp in Kati.?
Another reporter?in Mali?told VOA that soldiers in Kati “went on the rampage, got to the arsenals, got the guns, started shooting in the air, went out and cut off access to the camp.”?
Kati is the same camp where?the?2012?coup?that?overthrew President Amadou?Toumani?Toure began.??
No?casualties?have been reported from Tuesday’s uprising?and as of late?Tuesday, soldiers were?reported?to be moving freely through?Bamako.?
Opposition supporters?in Mali have held?a number of?large protests since June,?demanding Keita’s resignation.?Clashes between security forces and protesters in July killed at least 11 people.??
Critics blame?Keita?for a faltering economy and for failing to stop an eight-year Islamist insurgency in the north. Tensions escalated in April after the Constitutional Court overturned results from a disputed parliamentary election, allowing Keita’s party to take?a majority of?the vacant seats.??
Source: Voice of America