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Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission says it regrets the
decision of the Mali’s Transitional Authorities to expel ECOWAS Representative in Mali, Hamidou Boly.

Coup leader, Assimi Goita

Mr Boly was expelled on 25th October 2021 by the government for what it described as actions “incompatible with his status.”

“This extreme measure comes at an important and delicate time characterised by the support to the political transition in Mali by ECOWAS and other partners in a complex
security situation,” a statement from the commission said.

“It also comes at a time when the process of recalling the Representative to the Commission was already underway to ensure his replacement in the best possible way.

“The ECOWAS Commission remains committed and will continue its efforts to support a successful and peaceful transition in Mali.”

It is however, not clear what informed the expulsion of Mr Boly, coming at a time of growing pressure on Mali’s military rulers to return power to civilians.

“The government of the Republic of Mali has decided to declare the ECOWAS special representative in Mali persona non grata, in view of his actions that are incompatible with his status,” a government statement broadcast on state television said.

ECOWAS had been pressing Mali to respect its commitment to hold presidential and legislative elections next February following an August 2020 military coup.

Mali slid into political turmoil last year, culminating in a coup led by Colonel Assimi Goita in August last year against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Under the threat of sanctions, the military then appointed an interim civilian government tasked with steering the country back to democratic rule.

But Goita overthrew the leaders of that interim government in May – in a second coup – and was later declared interim president himself, drawing international condemnation.

Both the 15-nation ECOWAS and the United Nations have insisted on swift elections to restore civilian rule.

Mali’s interim government has said that it will set an election date after holding a “nation forum on rebuilding” in December.

Paths of the vast nation of 19 million people lie outside of government control because of an armed uprising that first emerged in the north in 2012, before spreading to the centre of the country, as well as neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

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