Mali’s transitional government orders ECOWAS special envoy to leave the country within 72 hours.

Since the coup which saw the removal of President Ibrahim Boubakar Keita from power, West Africa’s main regional body, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has been mounting pressure on Col. Assimi Goita and his transitional government to speed-up processes towards a return of the country to constitutional rule.

The recent episode of the dialogue between the two parties took a different twist as authorities of Mali’s transitional government ordered a special envoy of the 15-member regional body to leave the west African country within 72hours for what the authorities referred to as “actions incompatible with his status.”

A statement from the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation indicated that, “this decision comes after several warnings addressed to the person concerned through his hierarchy.” The special envoy, Hamidou Boly was “notified of the decision of the government” by the Ministry which declared him a “persona non grata.”

Mali’s Minister for Foreign affairs, Abdoulaye Diop told the state broadcaster that, “he (Boly) is engaged with groups, individuals from civil society, from the world of politics and even from the world of the press, who undertake actions hostile to the transition and which are not in line with his mission.”

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Jeamille Bittar, a spokesperson for Mali’s M5-RFP political coalition which was very instrumental in last year’s coup says Hamidou Boly, “is an enemy of Mali, he is against Mali, he is here to divide us and not to unite us.” Jeamille also demanded that, the government withdraws Mali from the ECOWAS.

Despite ousting the envoy, the transitional government assured of a cooperation with the ongoing arrangements. “Mali reiterates the willingness of the government to maintain dialogue with ECOWAS and to work together for the success of the transition,” the foreign ministry’s statement said as the government sets December for a national conference for political groups and other stakeholders to determine elections date.

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