ECOWAS Lifts Post-Coup Sanctions Against Mali

 

 

.

The West African regional bloc ECOWAS announced Tuesday that it was ending sanctions imposed against Mali after a military coup in August, saying it wished to back the return to civilian rule.

In a statement, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said “heads of state and government have decided to lift sanctions” after noting positive steps towards a constitutional government.

It noted the publication of a roadmap for the transition period.

The 15-nation group imposed tough sanctions against one of Africa’s poorest countries after president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was ousted following mass protests.

The coup was bloodless but triggered widespread alarm among Mali’s neighbours.

A coup in 2012 was followed by an uprising in northern Mali which morphed into a bloody Islamist insurgency, claiming thousands of lives and threatening neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.

The ECOWAS sanctions, imposed on August 20, included border closures and a ban on commercial trade and financial flows but not basic necessities, drugs, equipment to fight coronavirus, fuel or electricity.

Under pressure, Mali’s junta endorsed a “charter” to restore civilian rule within 18 months and appointed a committee which chose 70-year-old retired colonel Bah Ndaw as interim president.

Despite this, ECOWAS insisted on the publication of the transition roadmap and warned it could not accept junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita, who is interim vice president, as Ndaw’s potential replacement.

The bloc has now taken into account “notable advances towards constitutional normalisation,” according to a French text of Tuesday’s statement, signed by President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, who currently chairs ECOWAS.

It also called on “all bilateral and multilateral partners to support Mali.”

The communique also called for civilian and military officers detained during the coup to be released, and for the junta, which calls itself the National Council for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), to be dissolved.

The statement was issued a day after Ndaw appointed a government, headed by former foreign minister Moctar Ouane, in which junta members occupy key positions.

The “charter” also sets down the goals of re-establishing security across the nation, two-thirds of which are outside government control; of “restoring the state”; and of staging general elections.

-AFP

 .

Jonathan Visits Buhari Over Mali Crisis As ECOWAS Deliberate On Next Step

Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and President Muhammadu Buhari

 

Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), at the behest of their Chairman, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, may confer again to discuss outstanding grey areas in the Mali political situation, President Muhammadu Buhari has indicated.

The President spoke after receiving a briefing at State House, Abuja, Monday, from ECOWAS Special Envoy to Mali, former Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

Mali has appointed a civilian as Interim President, who will stay in office for 18 months, and lead the country back to constitutional order after the military had taken over power in the country. That was part of irreducible demands by West African leaders before sanctions imposed on the country could be lifted.

However, according to the Special Envoy, the military leaders are yet to satisfy ECOWAS demand of a full civilian as Vice President, and what his roles would be in government.

That position is currently being held by a serving military officer, who was also one of the leaders of the take-over.

President Buhari counseled the Special Envoy to present a formal report to the new ECOWAS Chairman, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, “who will then write us officially, and we then determine the next steps.”

The President said with about two-thirds of Mali currently under occupation by terrorists, “the priority of the military should be to secure their country,” rather than hold on to power.

Ex-Defence Minister Appointed Mali’s Transition Leader

Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa and the eighth-largest country in Africa
Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa and the eighth-largest country in Africa

 

 

Mali’s military junta announced the leaders of a new transition government in the Sahel state on Monday, which will retain strong army links despite international pressure to appoint civilians.

Junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita said in a televised statement that former defence minister Bah Ndaw would become transition president — while he himself would serve as vice president.

The announcement comes after the 15-nation West Africa bloc ECOWAS last week gave Mali’s ruling officers “days” to appoint civilian leaders, warning that it would not lift sanctions on the country otherwise.

 

President of the CNSP (National Committee for the Salvation of the People) Assimi Goita (C) prepares for a meeting between Malian military leaders and an ECOWAS delegation headed by former Nigerian president on August 22, 2020, in an aim to restore order after the military coup in Bamako. ANNIE RISEMBERG / AFP
President of the CNSP (National Committee for the Salvation of the People) Assimi Goita (C) prepares for a meeting between Malian military leaders and an ECOWAS delegation headed by former Nigerian president on August 22, 2020, in an aim to restore order after the military coup in Bamako. ANNIE RISEMBERG / AFP

 

West African leaders imposed sanctions on Mali — including a trade embargo and shuttered borders — in the wake of the August 18 military coup that ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

The junta said last week that it would prefer the military to run the transition, however.

Ndaw, a 70-year-old retiree, was appointed transition president by a committee chosen by the junta, Goita said on Monday.

“Each proposal has its advantages and its disadvantages,” he said, referring to the choice between a civilian, or military president.

He added that the committee had taken “a global context” into account when picking Ndaw, in an apparent reference to pressure from ECOWAS.

– Helicopter pilot –

Ndaw is a former helicopter pilot who was once an aide-de-camp to Mali’s ex-dictator Moussa Traore, who died last week aged 83.

He later served as a defence minister under President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita — who was ousted in the military coup last month.

A veteran soldier, Ndaw also received training in the former Soviet Union as well as at Paris’s renowned Ecole de Guerre.

Monday’s announcement followed a three-day forum with political parties and civil-society representatives earlier this month, which met to outline a roadmap to restore civilian rule in Mali.

According to a charter which emerged from that forum, the transition president is meant to rule for 18 months before staging nationwide elections.

Delegates had hotly debated the military’s role in the transition government, with some arguing to hand over power to civilians in line with ECOWAS wishes.

Mali’s neighbours, who are anxious the war-torn country could spiral into chaos, have been pressuring the junta to swiftly hand over power.

Two days after the coup, ECOWAS stopped financial and commercial trade with Mali, except for basic necessities, drugs, equipment to fight coronavirus, fuel and electricity.

The sanctions could bite in the poor country already facing a severe economic downturn as well as a simmering jihadist insurgency and chronic inter-ethnic violence.

It was these state failures that provoked people into the streets earlier this year, with months of protests and unrest building up to the military arresting president Keita and seizing control.

ECOWAS has yet to react to Ndaw’s nomination as transition president, nor to Goita as vice president.

A swearing-in ceremony will take place on Friday, Goita said.

AFP

ECOWAS Heads Of State Agree To Reject Forceful Change Of Govt In Mali

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo meets with other ECOWAS leaders in Ghana on September 15, 2020.

 

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of State have unanimously agreed to reject the forceful change of government in Mali.

Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo disclosed this on Tuesday while speaking after representing President Muhammadu Buhari at the extraordinary summit of the ECOWAS on the situation in Mali.

He said the region’s leaders agreed that the transition to democratic rule in Mali must take a maximum of 18 months and the transitional government should be heeded by a civilian.

The Vice President was accompanied by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Zubairu Dada and is now on his way back to the country from Ghana.

The West African leaders said they hope to see a civilian-led transition government installed in Mali “in days” following the talks with the military junta that seized power in the fragile state last month.

ECOWAS slapped sanctions on the country after the putsch, including closing borders and a ban on trade and financial flows, and has called for elections within 12 months.

Read Also: ECOWAS Hope For Mali Civilian Transition ‘In Days’

“We need a civilian leadership of the transition,” Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo, who currently chairs ECOWAS, told journalists after hosting the meeting.

“The minute that leadership is put in place through the processes they themselves have agreed upon in Mali, the sanctions that have been placed against Mali will be lifted by ECOWAS.”

Akufo-Addo said that a mediator from the bloc would travel to Bamako in a week and that regional leaders wanted the process finished.

“I’m hoping that by the time he gets there these things would have been completed,” the Ghanaian leader said.

“We’re talking hopefully in days not in weeks.”

ECOWAS had given Mali’s new military rulers until Tuesday to name a civilian president and prime minister to head a transitional government.

The junta missed that deadline but its leader Colonel Assimi Goita, who was appointed interim head of state, attended the talks in Ghana on his first trip abroad since his seizure of power.

PHOTOS: Osinbajo Attends ECOWAS Summit In Ghana

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has departed Nigeria for Ghana to attend the Extraordinary Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Osinbajo, who is representing President Muhammadu Buhari, at the summit will join other leaders in the sub-region to discuss the political crisis in Mali and the security situation in the sub-region at large.

See Photos Below:

West Africa Leaders Press Mali Junta Over Transition

Arrival of the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou (C), to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) meeting in Accra, Ghana on September 15, 2020, as part of several efforts to resolve the political crisis in Mali. (Photo by Nipah Dennis / AFP)

 

West African leaders met the head of Mali’s military junta on Tuesday to press for the return to civilian rule nearly a month after rebel officers seized power in the fragile state.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) slapped sanctions on Mali after the putsch, including closing borders and a ban on trade and financial flows, and has called for elections within 12 months.

The 15-nation bloc also gave the new military rulers until Tuesday to name a civilian president and prime minister to head a transitional government.

“My reason for this meeting is simple. We need to bring finality to our deliberations on Mali,” Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo said in an opening statement at a lodge at Peduase, eastern Ghana.

“That country can no longer afford any delay in putting a responsible government in place.”

Akufo-Addo, the current ECOWAS rotating chairman, reiterated that Tuesday was “supposed to be the day the military junta is supposed to put in place a government”.

“Closure should be brought to the matter now,” he said.

Junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita, who was appointed interim head of state, was attending the talks on his first trip abroad since his seizure of power.

He was set to deliver a speech behind closed doors to the assembled leaders from across the region outlining his plans.

– Opposition criticism –

The military junta over the weekend backed an arrangement for an 18-month transition government in which the junta would be given the leading role in choosing the interim president.

But the document was rejected by Mali’s protest movement.

It underscored its objections on Tuesday, while stressing it did not want to “break or get involved in a conflict” with the junta.

The communique said that consultations about the transition — which culminated in a document published on Saturday after a three-day forum — were marked by “intimidation (and) anti-democratic and unfair practices” and “the desire to monopolise and confiscate power to the benefit of (the junta).”

“Corrections must be able to be made to the national consultation documents,” said Mountaga Tall, a leader of the so-called June 5 Movement, or M5, an alliance of political parties, trade unions, religious figures and NGOs.

Mali’s former president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, 75, was toppled after months of protests by the M5 demanding his resignation.

He had been facing deep anger over an eight-year-old jihadist insurgency, economic problems and entrenched corruption.

The M5 wants to be given equal status with the junta during the transition.

Other criticism it has made of the junta-backed transition charter concerns the powers that would be given to the vice president, tasked with defence and security — a job description considered to be tailor-made for Goita.
– Unstable past –

Mali’s neighbours, who are anxious to avoid the fragile Sahel state spiralling into chaos, have not yet reacted to the transition roadmap.

Last month’s coup is Mali’s fourth since gaining independence from France in 1960.

A further reminder of its chronic instability came on Tuesday with the death on Tuesday of Moussa Traore, who led the country for 22 years.

In 1968, Moussa Traore, then a lieutenant, was the main instigator of a coup that overthrew Modibo Keita, the country’s first post-independence president. He stayed in power until he in turn was ousted in a coup in 1991.

Traore died aged 83 in the capital Bamako, his nephew Mohamed Traore told AFP.

Mali Opposition Rejects Junta-Backed Transition

Supporters of the CNSP (National Committee for the Salvation of the People) celebrate during a gathering at the start of two days of talks aimed at validating the terms of reference for a transitional government in Mali, on September 5, 2020, in Bamako.  AFP

 

Mali’s popular opposition movement has rejected a charter for a transition government backed by the army officers who ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

The military junta backed an arrangement for an 18-month transition government on Saturday, after a three-day forum with political parties and civil society representatives.

But the June 5 Movement (M5), which took part in the talks, rejected the roadmap in a statement on Saturday night, accusing the junta of a “desire to monopolise and confiscate power”.

Key ideas discussed during the talks had been left out of the final document while others had been added in, the group said.

The talks had taken place against a backdrop of “intimidation, antidemocratic and unfair practices worthy of another era”, it added.

The coalition of opposition groups, religious leaders and civil figures was behind months of protests against Keita, which led up to his ouster and arrest in a military coup on August 18.

But the group said that ideas such as the broad support for a civilian transition president had not been reflected in the final document.

The committee overseeing the talks that adopted the final version of the charter by acclamation on Saturday was chosen by the junta.

Under the terms of the final document, either a civilian or a military officer can become transition president, the committee’s rapporteur Moussa Camara told delegates.

AFP has not seen the final version of the charter. But an earlier version seen on Saturday stipulated that a junta-appointed committee would pick the transition president, raising questions about the military’s influence.

Commander Baba Cisse, from the junta, told AFP that the final text would not be made available on Sunday, and offered no further details.

 ‘Not democratic’ 

As the forum came to a close on Saturday, leading M5 member Sy Kadiatou Sow said the final version of the charter had been “butchered”.

“This is not democratic at all,” he said.

On Sunday, Sidebe Dedeou Ousmane, a union leader and M5 member, told AFP that none of the ideas discussed at her workshop had been included in the final report.

But Moussa Mara, a former prime minister, on Sunday defended the charter and urged “all Malians” to commit to the transition.

“The documents produced are not perfect, but they are a basis for starting the transition period,” he said.

Mali’s neighbours, who are anxious to avoid the fragile Sahel state spiralling into chaos, are yet to react to the transition charter.

Last month’s coup — Mali’s fourth since gaining independence from France in 1960 — came after months of protests stoked in part by Keita’s failure to quell a jihadist insurgency that has plagued the country since 2012.

The violence has since spread to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has taken a hard line, insisting that Mali’s ruling army officers hand over power within 12 months.

It has also closed borders and banned trade with the nation of some 19 million people.

ECOWAS leaders are nevertheless prepared to engage with the junta, and a meeting between the two sides is scheduled for Tuesday, in Ghana’s capital Accra.

Avoid Political Crisis In Guise Of Tenure Elongation, Buhari Tells ECOWAS Leaders

President Muhammadu Buhari flagged by other regional blocs during the ECOWAS summit in Niamey, Niger Republic. Credit: State House

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on leaders from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to resist the temptation of elongating their tenure in office beyond what their constitutions allow. 

A statement by Buhari’s media aide, Garba Shehu, quoted his principal to have said this on Monday during the 57th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Niamey, the Niger Republic.

According to President Buhari,  it is “important that as leaders of our individual Member-States of ECOWAS, we need to adhere to the constitutional provisions of our countries, particularly on term limits. This is one area that generates crisis and political tension in our sub-region.

“As it is, the challenges facing the sub-region are enormous; from socio-economic matters to security issues, the ECOWAS sub-region cannot, therefore, afford another political crisis, in the guise of tenure elongation.

“I urge us all to resist the temptation of seeking to perpetuate ourselves in power beyond the constitutional provisions.”

READ ALSO: Amid COVID-19, Nigeria’s Revenues Have Fallen By Almost 60 Percent – Buhari

The Nigerian leader hailed those who have “resisted such temptations” and added that they will be seen as exceptional role models in their respective countries as well as the sub-region.

“Related to this call for restraint is the need to guarantee free, fair and credible elections,” the statement quoted him as saying.

“This must be the bedrock for democracy to be sustained in our sub-region, just as the need for adherence to the rule of law.”

On the political situation in Mali, President Buhari admitted that it is of serious concern to the body, and hailed President Mahamadou Issoufou of the Niger Republic and out-going Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government and the Leadership of the ECOWAS Commission, and the Chief Mediator, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, “for effectively demonstrating commitment in handling the political situation in that country.”

While declaring Nigeria’s resolve to ensuring the civilian-led Transition Government does not exceed 12 months, he said it is important that such is done peacefully.

“While Nigeria understands the current political realities in Mali, the sub-region commitment to the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance must never be compromised,” the statement added.

Read Buhari’s Full Statement Below:

PRESIDENT BUHARI URGES ECOWAS LEADERS TO RESIST TEMPTATION OF TENURE ELONGATION

President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to ECOWAS leaders not to elongate their tenure in office beyond constitutional limits.
Making the call while presenting Nigeria’s General Statement at the 57th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Niamey, Niger Republic on Monday, the President urged his colleagues to respect constitutional provisions and ensure free and fair elections.

According to him, it is “important that as leaders of our individual Member-States of ECOWAS, we need to adhere to the constitutional provisions of our countries, particularly on term limits. This is one area that generates crisis and political tension in our sub-region.

“As it is, the challenges facing the sub-region are enormous; from socio-economic matters to security issues, the ECOWAS sub-region cannot therefore afford another political crisis, in the guise of tenure elongation. I urge us all to resist the temptation of seeking to perpetuate ourselves in power beyond the constitutional provisions.

“I commend those in our midst that have resisted such temptations, for they will be deemed exceptional role models in their respective countries and the sub-region as a whole.

“Related to this call for restraint is the need to guarantee free, fair and credible elections. This must be the bedrock for democracy to be sustained in our sub-region, just as the need for adherence to the rule of law.”

On the political situation in Mali, President Buhari said it is of serious concern to ECOWAS, and commended President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic and out-going Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government and the Leadership of the ECOWAS Commission, as well as the Chief Mediator, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, “for effectively demonstrating commitment in handling the political situation in that country.”

He declared that “Nigeria remains resolutely committed to ECOWAS decision for a civilian-led Transition Government not exceeding 12 months. This is important because of the circumstances surrounding Mali where violent non-state actors and other negative tendencies reside and who can take advantage of the unstable political situation to overrun the country, thereby plunging it into greater danger that will affect the political stability of the whole sub-region.

“While Nigeria understands the current political realities in Mali, the sub-region’s commitment to the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, must never be compromised.

“An early return to democratic governance which is transparent and civilian-led, will commend itself for Nigeria’s support for progressive relaxation of sanctions against Mali.”

On security, the Nigerian leader noted that, “Terrorism continues to be the greatest security threat in our sub-region, complicating other national security challenges. As a sub-region, we need to collaborate more by working hand in hand with each other, to combat the root causes of the different security-related manifestations in our countries.”

He said, “Nigeria is concerned with the rapidity at which terrorist groups in the Sahel and West Africa are working together against all of us,” adding that, “We must urgently review these ugly developments to guarantee the safety and survival of our sub-region.”

“Our national security apparatus and the relevant Units of ECOWAS must urgently be seized with these unfolding events across our sub-region and act decisively on the emergence of early warning signs,” he said.

Dwelling on the long-standing single currency issue for the sub-region, the President said, “Nigeria remains committed to the implementation of the action plan towards the actualization of the monetary union and single currency programme of ECOWAS,” and called on “Member States to show support to the resolution of the Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS on this matter.”

Cognisant of the “likelihood that many ECOWAS member states may not meet the convergence criteria over the next few years due to the impact of COVID-19 on our economies and which as a consequence, will affect the take-off date of the single currency,” he said “Notwithstanding this envisaged delay, we must remain collectively focused and resolute in working to achieve the objectives of the ECOWAS monetary union as a project for the sub-region.”

Insisting that “the premature adoption of the “ECO” has unnecessarily heightened disaffection and mistrust among members of the emerging monetary union,” President Buhari encouraged “UEMOA (French acronym for the West African Economic and Monetary Union) to return to the roadmap on the common currency in the sub-region.”

He also urged all stakeholders to “bear in mind that those economic convergence criteria must be based on sound and sustainable macroeconomic fundamentals.”

Noting that some key unresolved issues still remained such as delinking the CFA franc of the UEMOA from the Euro; whether the UEMOA countries join as a bloc or individual countries; design of the exchange rate mechanism; Stabilization Fund; policy harmonization and exit strategy and reserve pooling among others, the Nigerian President called on his colleagues to provide “African solutions to African problems.”

According to him, “Foreign interference and so-called advice may not be in our best sub-regional interest,” as he stressed the “need for UEMOA to return to the agreed roadmap of the ECOWAS Single Currency by complying with the established framework under the roadmap and cooperate with other member countries in achieving the objectives of the programme.”

Observing that the Summit was holding “under a very complex health pandemic, whose impact on the global health and economy has so far been devastating,” President Buhari said “like the rest of the world, our sub-region is witnessing economic downturn with negative growth that is headed towards deep recession and the outlook continues to be uncertain.”

He, therefore, charged his colleagues on the “need to continue to work in concert with each other on several fronts to ease the negative effects of the pandemic,” adding that, “We need to demonstrate our collective resolve to harness the opportunities that come with COVID-19, despite its overwhelming negative impact on lives and livelihoods.”

The Nigerian President, who is the ECOWAS Champion charged with mobilising and coordinating the efforts against the pandemic, admitted that the “outlook for our sub-region with COVID-19 hovering over us is gloomy indeed.”

He, however, expressed confidence that “where there are challenges, opportunities are also available to be seized upon through greater collaboration with each other.”

“We must pool our resources together in unity to save our generation and generations to come from multiple challenges, including COVID-19 and related health issues.

“We need to redouble our efforts in preparing our national economies to withstand impending shocks against prospective multi-sector challenges that await us in the sub-region,” he declared.

Acknowledging that it is no easy task, President Buhari appealed to fellow leaders to “embrace our collective vision for the future with greater determination and innovative thinking and creativity.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTOS: Buhari Attends 57th Ordinary Session Of ECOWAS In Niger

President Muhammadu Buhari flagged by other regional blocs during the ECOWAS summit in Niamey, Niger Republic. Credit: State House

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday attended the 57th ordinary session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Niamey, Niger Republic.

The President was accompanied by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; the Minister of Aviation; Hadi Sirika among other government officials.

He later joined Presidents Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, Macky Sall of Senegal, Umaro Embalo of Guinea Bissau and other regional leaders.

During the summit, the regional bloc made a new appeal for Mali to make a “swift” transition to civilian rule following a military coup on August 18.

According to a media report, President Issoufou who is the current ECOWAS chairman called on the military to cooperate with the body.

“It is our community’s duty to help Malians towards the swift re-establishment of all democratic institutions. The military junta must help us to help Mali,” he said at the start of a summit.

 

See Photos Below:

President Buhari To Attend ECOWAS Summit In Niger Republic

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari is set to attend the Fifty-Seventh Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.

A statement issued on Sunday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the President will leave Abuja on Monday for Niamey, Niger Republic where he is to participate in the summit.

According to the statement, the one-day summit will deliberate on the Special Report on COVID-19 to be presented by President Buhari who was appointed the ECOWAS Champion on the Fight against COVID-19 during the Extraordinary Virtual Summit of ECOWAS on April 23, 2020.

“As a Champion, the Nigerian leader was expected to coordinate the sub-regional response against the pandemic,” the statement read.

“In furtherance of that objective, under the supervision of the Champion, Nigerian Ministers of Health, Aviation and Finance were appointed Chairpersons of the Ministerial Coordination Committees on Health; Transport, Logistics and Trade; and Finance respectively.”

The summit will also receive a Special Report on the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme to be presented by President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone and Chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ), and President Alassane Ouattara, who is Chair of the West African Economic Monetary Union (WAEMU/UEMOA).

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean Claude Kassi Brou will present to the West African leaders, the 2020 Interim Report on activities of the sub-regional body including ECOWAS Vision 2050.

Other issues to be addressed include the alarming rise in incidents of terrorism, insurgency, armed banditry and piracy, while the disruption of the democratic process by the military in Mali, will receive further attention.

Similarly, in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea and Niger where parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled for this year, the imperative to strengthen democracy in the sub-region by respecting constitutional provisions, rule of law and outcomes of free and fair polls, will be emphasised.

President Buhari will be accompanied to the Summit by ministers and other top government officials.

Buhari Backs ECOWAS 12-Month Ultimatum For Transition To Civilian Rule In Mali

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has given his backing to the declaration by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), demanding a 12-month transition process to civilian rule in Mali.

President Buhari who attended the ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments virtual meeting on Friday, charged the military junta to set an acceptable timetable for a return to democratic government.

In his remarks quoted in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, President Buhari maintained that Mali is in a fragile state which poses an imminent danger to the citizens and the ECOWAS sub-region.

READ ALSO: Helicopter Crash Kills Two, Injures One In Lagos

He added that the military leadership should be flexible in negotiations by putting the interest of all Malians and the harmony of the sub-region into consideration.

“For the people of Mali, specifically the leadership, embracing Democracy and Good Governance is crucial to the country’s political stability. Mali cannot, therefore, afford to stand alone, hence the need to come to terms with the realities of an acceptable and workable transition compact that inspires the confidence of all Malians.

“With regards to other areas being negotiated, Nigeria believes that the people of Mali and the military leaders need to appreciate the fragility of their country and the imminent danger which it poses to the citizens of Mali as well as the ECOWAS sub-region, “the President said.

He urged the military leadership to focus on securing the country, faced with severe security threats from its northern part, instead of an incursion into governance.

President Buhari celebrated the news that former President of Mali, Ibrahim Keita, has been released from detention and is in good condition. He however called on the military leaders to free the remaining senior officials still in detention.

“I urge the military leadership to consider: the immediate release of all the remaining senior Government officials in detention, without pre-conditions; a transition process, to be completed in not more than 12 months, and which shall include the representatives of Malian stakeholders.

“This is a critical consideration for the new government to enjoy the cooperation and collaboration of regional and international community, and to allow the easing of sanctions imposed on Mali.”

The Nigerian President added that it is critical for the new government to enjoy the necessary cooperation.

“In this connection, Nigeria will, alongside ECOWAS, provide necessary logistics support to facilitate the conduct of elections to re-establish democratic governance in Mali.”

President Buhari thanked Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for mediating in the crisis and commended Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Mahamadou Issoufou of the Niger Republic for convening the Extraordinary Summit.

The government of President Ibrahim Keita was recently toppled in a bloodless coup earning the country sanctions from ECOWAS.

The military junta in place requested a 3-year term in office after which they would return the country to civilian rule.

Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

President Muhammadu Buhari at a meeting with the north-east governors and others in Abuja on August 10, 2020.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has attended the second extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of State and Government over the socio-political situation in Mali.

The summit had in attendance, all Presidents in the region alongside the ECOWAS President, Jean Claude Kassi Brou.

Channels Television gathered that the discussions centered on finding a lasting solution to the political instability in Mali.

The government of President Ibrahim Keita was recently toppled in a bloodless coup earning the country sanctions from ECOWAS.

RELATED:  Mali Junta Says It Has Released Ousted President

Mali: Military, ECOWAS Talks End In Deadlock

The military junta in place,  National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), requested a 3-year term in office after which they would return the country to civilian rule.

Several talks between the new Junta and ECOWAS for a return to civilian rule ended in deadlocks after a high-level delegation led by former President Goodluck Jonathan to Bamako failed to secure its demand.

There hasn’t been a response to this request yet from ECOWAS, but it is expected that this will be discussed at this extraordinary summit.

Meanwhile, Mali’s military leader hinted on Thursday that former President Ibrahim Keita had been freed after he was detained in the August 18 coup.

Physically present at the statehouse in Abuja to attend the meeting were the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari; alongside the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; the Minister of Defence ‎Bashir Magashi and the Director-general of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.