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ECOWAS holds extraordinary summit over Mali’s political crisis

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WEST African leaders have kicked off an extraordinary summit to propose measures to help resolve an escalating political crisis in Mali.

  The virtual meeting of the 15-member ECOWAS regional bloc on Monday comes days after unprecedented mediation efforts by the presidents of Ghana, Ivory Coast, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal in Mali’s capital, Bamako, failed to end the impasse.

  For weeks, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has been locked in a tense standoff with an opposition protest coalition known as the June 5 Movement that has been demanding his resignation.

  After the daylong talks on Thursday, influential Muslim leader and protest mobiliser Ibrahim Dicko told journalists that no progress had been made.

  “Nothing has moved for the movement,” he said.

  For his part, Mahamadou Issoufou, Nigerien president and current ECOWAS chair, told reporters: “We have decided that we will report back to all the heads of state during an extraordinary meeting today.

  “ECOWAS will take strong measures that will contribute to the resolutions of the crisis.”

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