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Mali crisis deadlocked despite intervention by ECOWAS leaders

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Five West African leaders gathered in Bamako on Thursday in a fresh push to end an escalating political crisis in Mali.

The one-day summit had in attendance the presidents of Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Niger holding meetings with Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and leaders of a protest movement calling for his resignation.

“Nothing has moved for the movement,” said one of the protest leaders, Imam Mahmoud Dicko, after holding talks with the presidents.

The unrest deeply worries Mali’s neighbours and allies, who fear a country plagued by an insurgency could slide into chaos.

The June 5 Movement, named after the date when the protests began, has tapped into deep anger over Keita’s perceived failure to tackle the dire economy, corruption and the eight-year jihadist revolt.

Malians are also incensed at the disputed outcome of long-delayed parliamentary elections in March and April that handed victory to Keita’s party.