West African envoys led by former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, have arrived in Mali’s capital, Bamako, to negotiate the release of Ibrahim Keita, the ousted President, and the restoration of a constitutional government.

The delegation was set up by the Economic Community of West African State following the political crisis rocking Mali and Keita’s resignation.

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan arrives at the International Airport in Bamako Aug. 22, 2020.

The envoys’ visit comes one day after thousands crowded into Mali’s capital in a raucous show of support for the military junta.

Rebel soldiers seized Keita and other leaders after a mutiny on Tuesday, dealing another deep blow to a country already struggling with a brutal Islamist insurgency and widespread public discontent over its government.

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The coup leaders, who identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, later declared their intention to form a civilian transitional government and promised “a reasonable timeline” for holding new elections.

Jonathan, who is ECOWAS Special Envoy to Mali, had visited the country to mediate on the crisis in July.

Another ECOWAS delegation including President Muhammadu Buhari also visited the country for discussions on restoring peace in the country but the talks did not yield results.

 

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