The coup led to the overthrow of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta

Mali must quickly prepare its plan for elections to replace the transitional government put in place after August’s coup, the West African regional group Ecowas has said.

An Ecowas delegation, which has just finished a two-day mission to Mali, urged all parties to engage in more dialogue so as to “guarantee peace and stability in the country”.

When the transitional government was set up five weeks after the takeover its role was to prepare the country for to the return to civilian rule within 18 months – and as a consequence Ecowas lifted sanctions imposed in the aftermath of the coup.

The delegation also commented on a recent alleged attempt to destabilise the transition, which has led to the arrests of several civilians.

It urged the authorities to ensure their cases were dealt with fairly under the law.

The mission will report on its visit and make recommendations to the region’s heads of state at a summit in a few weeks.

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