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ECOWAS to Hold Talks with Military Junta in Mali

Colonel-Major Ismael Wague, center, spokesman for the soldiers identifying themselves as National Committee for the Salvation of the People, speaks during a press conference at Camp Soudiata in Kati, Mali, Aug. 19, 2020.

A delegation from the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will hold talks in Mali Friday with the military junta holding ousted Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and other government leaders.

The ECOWAS leaders have called for Keita's release since the military faction arrested him Tuesday after he announced his resignation and the disbanding of the government.

The M5-RFP coalition of opposition parties, which led protests against Keita, supports the mutineers and rejected ECOWAS' position.

ECOWAS leaders have imposed sanctions on Mali, blocked borders and suspended the country's involvement in the pan-African bloc.

Meanwhile, opposition leaders are urging Malians to attend a rally Friday in the capital, Bamako, in support of the military takeover.