March 22, 2012 / 7:44 PM / in 7 years

Regional body Ecowas condemns Mali junta

DAKAR, March 22 (Reuters) - West Africa’s top regional decision-making body condemned on Thursday a mutiny in Mali that toppled President Amadou Toumani Toure’s government and said it would not recognise the renegade army officers as a legitimate government.

The overnight coup bid was led by low-ranking soldiers angry at the government’s failure to stamp out a two-month-old separatist rebellion in the north of the west African state.

“By this unconstitutional act, the junta has automatically alienated and outlawed itself from the community,” ECOWAS commission president Desire Kadre Ouedraogo said in a statement.

“ECOWAS calls on it (the junta) to immediately relinquish power to the rightful government so that the country could return to constitutional normality,” the 16-nation bloc said. (Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Karolina Tagaris)

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