An emergency meeting of ECOWAS Joint Chiefs of Defence Staff opened
Thursday 5th April 2012, in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, to discuss the
political situation in Mali, including the possible deployment of a
regional military force in the country.
The meeting followed the directive of the extraordinary summit of
ECOWAS leaders held on 27th March 2012 in Abidjan.
The defence chiefs are to discuss the possible deployment of the
ECOWAS Standby Force in Mali following the overthrow of the government
of democratically-elected President Amadou Toumani Toure in the coup
of 22nd March 2012 led by a military junta and the Toureg rebellion in
the north of the country.
The coup has been widely condemned by the international community,
including ECOWAS which has imposed diplomatic and economic sanctions
on the junta, to force immediate restoration of constitutional order
in the country.
ECOWAS and the African Union have also suspended Mali and are leading
international efforts to isolate the junta and force it to hand power
back to constitutionally elected authorities, in line with the
regional Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, and zero-tolerance
for forceful take over of government.