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Mali must have civilian-led transition government – ECOWAS

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ECOWAS leaders after the meeting

The Authority of Heads of State and Governments of ECOWAS have insisted on a transition government in Mali led by a civilian President and Prime minister.

It has also asked the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), the military Junta that deposed Malian leader Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on August 18, 2020, to immediately nominate two civilians as President and Prime minister respectively to oversee the transition process, which should not go beyond a period of 18 months.

A communique issued at the end of a consultative meeting convened Tuesday by the Community’s Chairman, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Presidential Lodge, Peduase near Accra, ECOWAS reaffirmed its demand for civilian-led transition administration to ensure a swift return to constitutional order in Mali.

The Authority stated that the military Junta would l be dissolved immediately the civilian transition was put in place.

It said the moment a civilian-led transition is put in place, ECOWAS would assist Mali to restore constitutional order, in line with its relevant protocols.

Also, sanctions placed on the country would be lifted immediately when the transition president and prime minister were effectively designated.

ECOWAS Chair President Akufo-Addo told journalists at the end of the meeting that though an agreement had not been reached, the military leadership of Mali agreed with the decisions taken at the meeting.

He said the leader of the Military Junta, Colonel Assimi Goita, and his delegation however told the Authority that they would have to go back make further consultations with decision makers in the CNSP.

“The view point of ECOWAS is that matters that have been put out should be dealt with in terms of days and not weeks so that we begin the process of normalizing the situation in Mali,” he said.

In that direction, President Akufo-Addo who was undertaking his first major assignment after being made the regional bloc’s chairman, said the mediator in the crisis, Nigeria’s former leader Goodluck Jonathan would return to Bamako next week to assess the status of implementation of the decision arrived at the Aburi meeting.

“The situation in Mali calls for a quick resolution, we have to have a government in place that can begin the process of normalising things, and more than anything else organising the resistance to the Tuareg menace.

“The issue is now in the hands of the Malians,” he stated, hopeful that by the time the mediator returns to Mali, things would have been sorted out so that the sanctions can be lifted.

ECOWAS imposed sanctions on Mali following the deposition of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on August 18, 2020 by Malian military Forces following weeks of political tension in that country.

The bloc suspended financial transactions between Mali and its 14 other member countries, and also suspended the troubled nation from its internal decision-making bodies, and asked the military Junta to appoint a President and prime minister by September 15, 2020 or face further sanctions.

Tuesday’s meeting, aimed at reinforcing its decisions in resolving the political crisis in the country.

Source: GNA

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