March 29, 2012 / 12:22 PM / in 6 years

ECOWAS scraps Mali visit due to protests - sources

ABIDJAN, March 29 (Reuters) - West African regional bloc ECOWAS has scrapped a planned visit to Mali by six regional heads of state on Thursday after reports of protests in the capital Bamako, sources told Reuters.

The delegation was planning to confront the leaders of last week’s coup that toppled President Amadou Toumani Toure and pressure them for a swift return to civilian rule.

“(Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara) was on the plane with the delegation headed to Bamako and it was during the flight that they heard about the protests, and they turned around,” Kady Traore, a spokesperson for Ouattara said.

A diplomatic source confirmed the visit was scrapped. (Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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