West African leaders urge Malian soldiers to halt mutiny as coup fears grow
22:15, Tuesday, 18 August, 2020
West African leaders lambasted a military mutiny in Mali on Tuesday, urging soldiers to return to their barracks as rising extremism threatens the region's stability. The 15-nation bloc known as ECOWAS said it “vigorously condemns” the uprising, which started with gunshots at an army base and tactical vehicles rolling into the capital, Bamako. ECOWAS “calls on the military to return to their positions without delay,” the regional bloc said in a statement. The confusion in Bamako — including reports of blocked roads and officials under military arrest — comes as protesters seek to oust President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta. Tens of thousands of Malians have flooded the capital of the West African nation in recent months, accusing Keïta of botching the response to a fast-spreading Islamist insurgency while allowing the nation’s economy to crumble.