ECOWAS suspends Mali

Assimi Goita – The Mali coup leader

ECOWAS has suspended Mali from the regional bloc following last week’s Coup in which the President and Prime minister of that country were deposed by the military.

The bloc also called for the immediate nomination of a new civilian Prime Minister who would steer that country’s transition programme.

“A new inclusive government should be formed to proceed with the transition programme,” said a communique issued at the end of Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of the Heads of State and Governments in Accra to resolve the crisis in Mali.

The Heads of State expressed strong reservation over the crisis in Mali, which is coming halfway to the end of the agreed transition period.

They demanded the release of the former Transition President Bah N’Daw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, who are currently under house arrest.

The Authority reaffirmed the need for the military to respect the transition period of 18 months decided in Accra last year.

It said that the announced date of February 27, 2022 for the presidential election should be strictly maintained, and stuck to its decision that the Vice President, Colonel Assimi Goita and Prime Minister of the transition should not “under any circumstances, be candidates for the forthcoming Presidential election”.

The Communique reaffirmed ECOWAS’ support to accompany the transition process in Mali, and urged all international partners to continue to support Mali towards the successful implementation of the transition.

The Authority urged the Mediator in the crisis, former Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to persevere with his mediation efforts and remain seized of the situation in Mali.

The Accra meeting, was convened by the ECOWAS Chairman, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to review the prevailing socio-political crisis in Mali following the arrest, detention and subsequent resignations of the President and the Prime Minister of the Transition on May 26, 2021, as well as to determine the next line of action for the transition.

It was attended by 10 Heads of State, including Roch-Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso; Cote d’Ivoire’s Alassane Ouattara, Adama BARROW of The Gambia; Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea Bissau; Liberia’s George Weah, Mohamed BAZOUM of Niger; Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari; Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leo-ne; and Togo’s Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe.

After the military takeover on 18th August 2020 in Mali, which led to the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the ECOWAS Authority called for the establishment of a civilian-led transition for a period of 18 months to allow for elections.

Source: GNA

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