African Heads of States have strongly condemned the Tuesday military coup in Mali during which President Ibrahim Bouacar Keita was seized by mutinying soldiers.

Led by the African Union Chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa, the leaders called for the immediate release of President Keïta and senior members of his administration among them the country’s Prime Minister Boubou Cissé.

Ramaphosa called for dialogue to restore peace and stability in the West African country while Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta urged for a “speedy, peaceful and democratic” resolution of the crisis.

President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) rallied African countries to take a firm position on the matter saying the coup was “dangerous for democracy in Africa”.

The Heads of State spoke on Thursday evening during a virtual meeting of the African Union Bureau convened to discuss the continental response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The meeting was also attended by representatives of Regional Economic Communities (RECs), African special envoys on Covid-19 and the Director of Africa CDC Dr John Nkengasong.

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