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Nigerian govt condemns coup in Mali

The Nigerian Federal Government on Wednesday condemned Tuesday’s coup d’état in Mali organized by mutineer soldiers.

The mutineer soldiers took President Ibrahim Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse into custody on Tuesday afternoon and drove them to the military base on the outskirts of Bamako which they had earlier taken control of in the morning.

Jubilant crowds had taken over the streets of the Malian capital, Bamako, celebrating and cheering the soldiers for taking over the government of the crisis-ridden nation.

But reacting on Wednesday to the events in Mali, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, tweeted: “The Nigerian Government unequivocally condemns 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.”

Meanwhile, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also condemned the coup, pledging to close land and air borders to Mali and push for sanctions against “all the putschists and their partners and collaborators”.

The 15-nation bloc – which includes Mali – also said that it would suspend the country from its internal decision-making bodies.

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, demanded the “immediate and unconditional release” of Keita and Cisse as diplomats in New York said the Security Council would hold emergency talks on Wednesday.

The United States and France also released separate statements voicing deep concern about the turn of events and urged against regime change.

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the mutiny, according to his office, and said he supported mediation efforts to resolve the crisis by other West African states.

The US envoy to the region, Peter Pham, joined the calls for restraint and echoed its opposition to any “extraconstitutional” change.

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