ECOWAS to Send Troops to Coup-Hit Mali, Guinea Bissau

Posted April 27th, 2012 at 2:05 am (UTC-5)
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The West-African regional bloc ECOWAS says it will send troops to Mali and Guinea Bissau to monitor the transitions back to civilian rule following recent military coups.

At a special summit in the Ivory Coast on Thursday, ECOWAS said both countries should prepare to hold legislative and presidential elections within a year. It threatened sanctions if coup leaders try to cling to power.

Media reports quoted unnamed officials as saying at least 3,000 ECOWAS soldiers will be sent to Mali where mutinous soldiers overthrew the country's democratically elected president last month.

Around 600 troops are expected to go to Guinea Bissau, where the army took control of the country on April 12, just weeks before a presidential run-off election.