The Malian military's overthrow of the legitimate civilian authority in Bomako must be swiftly reversed. It must not be allowed to succeed. A military dictatorship in any part of Africa in the 21st century is simply out of the question.
A return to constitutional rule by reversing the military coup, ought to be a non-negotiable fact-on-the-ground.
We must not allow the freedoms of the Malian people to be hijacked by rebellious soldiers - and at all costs, Malian democracy must not be truncated.
The outrageous sight of soldiers with guns, and obviously drunk, careering around the streets of Bomako in pick-up trucks, after overthrowing the democratically elected civilian president, is intolerable.
We must not wait for an occurrence similar in nature, to the horrific events in the Conakry stadium, where Guinean soldiers went on the rampage - and ended up murdering over 100 Guinean civilians and injured scores more - to take place, before taking belated action to end military rule in Mali.
Burkina Faso, Ghana and Nigeria must move quickly to get the coup condemned and declared illegal - by the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU).
And together with the governments of France and the U.S., work swiftly to impose sanctions on the military leaders behind the coup and members of their immediate families.
Nothing, by way of exports and imports, especially oil and petroleum products, must be allowed in or out of the territory of landlocked Mali, in the meantime - and all flights in and out of Mali, by international carriers, must be banned immediately.
Above all, until the coup is reversed, Mali must be denied international aid and access to loans from the African Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
A joint AU and ECOWAS delegation must be quickly dispatched to Bomako to make it absolutely clear to the coup-makers that their coup is unacceptable, and that they must return to barracks and restore the constitution and allow the elected civilian regime to deal with their grievances, on a priority basis.
If need be, the leaders of the coup can be detained and tried outside Mali - if that will make it amenable for them to accept a reversal of the coup: but punished, they must be.
Finally, under no circumstances must the Mali coup be allowed to succeed - and Burkina Faso, Ghana and Nigeria must work together to ensure that it does not do so. An economic blockade, swiftly imposed by the ECOWAS, is a necessary first step. A word to the wise...
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