President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday appealed to the United Nations and the African Union to continue to support the tough steps being taken by the ECOWAS to restore civil administration in Mali and return sanity.

He made the appeal during an Extraordinary Virtual Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government convened after the military coup d’etat that happened in Mali on Tuesday.

He said the action of the military ran counter to the letter and spirit of ECOWAS Protocol on good governance and democracy in which unconstitutional change of governments was prohibited.

“The events in Mali are great setbacks for regional diplomacy which have grave consequences for the peace and security of West Africa.

“The action of the military in Mali has regrettably hoisted on us as a sub-region, the need to decide the options that will be consistent with the provisions of the Protocol on Good Governance and Democracy, which ECOWAS, AU, and the UN subscribe to. In this context, therefore, Nigeria subscribes to the under-listed recommendations for action by our organisation:

“(a) President Keita and other detainees should be released unconditionally and with immediate effect. (b) Nigeria supports the efforts of President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, for wider regional and continental consultations, especially on the possibility of detaching ECOWAS and AU troops with the UN Mission in Mali, to protect State Institutions and also act as first layer of defence in the country to help preserve and protect lives and property.”

He said the Special Envoy appointed to mediate, former President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, along with Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of ECOWAS Commission, was to visit Mali to convey the ECOWAS leaders’ decisions.

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