West African leaders to hold summit after latest coups

AFRICA |

People show their support for the military after they deposed President Kabore outside state Television RTB headquarter in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. [Reuters]

Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will hold an extraordinary summit on Burkina Faso and Mali on Friday, Ivory Coast's information minister said on Wednesday, after military takeovers in both countries.

Army officers in Burkina Faso ousted President Roch Kabore on Monday in West Africa's third coup in nine months, following military takeovers in Mali and Guinea.

The regional bloc strongly condemned Kabore's ouster, saying he was forced to resign under threat and intimidation.

The coup came amid an increasingly bloody Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands and displaced millions across West Africa's Sahel region, eroding faith in the countries' democratic leaders.

ECOWAS has already slapped broad sanctions on Mali, where the military-led government said this month it planned to hold power through 2025, going back on a previous agreement to organise elections this February.

Burkina Faso's new military regime, led by Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, said on Monday it would propose a return to constitutional order "within a reasonable time frame".

Malians have come out in huge numbers to protest the ECOWAS sanctions. A crowd also gathered in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou on Tuesday to celebrate the coup, with some saying they felt ECOWAS was not on their side. 

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