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“Hand over power to the rightful government” Ouédraogo Tells Mali Coup Leaders

President Amadou Toumani Touré receiving African leader in Koulouba Palace shortly before the coup against him

Ahead of an extraordinary meeting of the fifteen member states of the Economic Community Of West African States, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Kadre Desire Ouédraogo, made a statement condemning the coup d’état of 22nd March 2012.

Heads of state from around West Africa converged in the Ivorian capital, Abidjan, on Tuesday 27th March to discuss the ousting of the elected government of President Ahmani Toumani Toure. The government of Mali had been battling rebellion in its Northern Sahel region.

Kadre Ouédraogo had this message for the coup leaders: “immediately hand over power to the rightful government so that the country can return to constitutional normality.”

The African Union has suspended Mali from its membership in response to the coup, expressing “deep concern at the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the Sahel region, including Mali and Niger.” Only the day before the coup, Ahmani Toumani Toure had received the chairman of the AU Commission, Jean Ping, and the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Mashabane Nkoana, at the palace of Koulouba on the fringes on an AU meeting.

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