Anti-government protesters in Mali have intensified demands for President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to step aside.
At a press conference in the capital Bamako, the June 5 Movement insisted that the West African state’s parliament be dissolved. They also called for a “republican transition” from the current government.
Choguel Maiga, leader of the movement said: “We told ECOWAS that we would not want the Malian people to feel that ECOWAS has the sole objective of keeping a president in power against his people.
“ECOWAS must not be an instrument for protecting heads of state. It must be an instrument at the service of the interests of the people. That is what we told them,” he said after the visit of ECOWAS mediator Goodluck Ebele Jonathan last week.
Reports say ECOWAS mediators met Keita on Friday and they also met the influential imam Mahmoud Dicko of the lune 5 movement in an attempt to reach a resolution.
The protesters are demanding that Keita resign over his perceived failures in tackling the dire economy and Mali’s eight-year insurgent conflict.