The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of States on Saturday in Ouagadougou, said peacekeepers would be deployed to Mali to restore the “territorial integrity” of the country and democracy.
The Ivorian President and ECOWAS Chairman, Alassane Ouattara, announced the decision to intervene in the country after a meeting with the contact group of the organisation that monitored the developments in the country.
In a televised broadcast on Ivorian national television, RTI, Ouagadougou, Mr. Ouattara said the decision to intervene was based on the reports of the contact group.
He said the regional bloc would no longer sit and watch the deteriorating human condition in the country.
Mr. Quattara said among the priorities of ECOWAS, was to ensure that the Tuareg rebels in the northern part of the country re-consider returning to the country.
Mr. Ouattara said the regional bloc had refused to recognise the rebels.
He said the international community would be invited to support the restoration of order in Mali.
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan and Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso are among the ECOWAS contact group for Mali.
Soldiers in Mali ousted the former President, Ahmadou Toure, on March 22, 2012, less than two weeks to presidential elections; they were however forced to relinquish power to a transitional government by ECOWAS.
Mali still faces a bigger threat by Tuareg rebels in the north of the country who have declared their independency and instituted Sharia law.