The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Mediation Mission on Mali, has called on multilateral and bilateral partners to support the transition process, especially the preparatory phase for the elections in that country.
A communique issued by Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, ECOWAS Mediator for Mali, reiterated the commitment of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government to accompany Mali towards a successful transition.
It reiterated the Mission’s call to the socio-political actors to work together and demonstrate their sense of responsibility during “this delicate period of the transition to ensure the success of the transition process.”
It noted that within the framework of the implementation of the recommendations of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS held on 19th June, in Accra, Ghana, a high-level mission led by Dr Jonathan, former President of Nigeria, ECOWAS Special Envoy and Mediator to Mali, visited Mali from 5 to 7 September.
It indicated that the purpose of the mission was to review the transition process, particularly the progress made in the preparation for the elections scheduled to be held by end of February 2022, in accordance with the deadline set by the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government at its Extraordinary Session held on 15th September 2020.
“It is also aimed at providing ECOWAS support for the effective implementation of the priority actions outlined in the Government’s action plan,” it said.
The Communique said the delegation accompanying the ECOWAS Mediator was composed of Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana and Chairperson of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers; Dr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission, General Francis A. Behanzin, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, and Professor Hamidou Boly, Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission in Mali.
Others were El Ghassim Wane, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Mali, Head of the Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA); Mr Maman Sambo Sidikou, Head of the African Union Mission in the Sahel (MISAHEL); Chikezie Nwachukwu, Ambassador of Nigeria to Mali, and Mr Napoleon Abdulai, Ambassador of Ghana to Mali, also participated in the Mission.
It said the ECOWAS Mission paid a courtesy call on the President of the Transition, Colonel Assimi Goita and held a working session with Mr. Choguel Maiga, the Prime Minister of the Transition.
The Communique said the Mission also held consultations with members of the Local Monitoring Committee and members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Mali.
It said the Mission congratulated the Government for the relative calm observed in the country and took note of the lifting of the restriction measures concerning the former President of the Transition, Bah N’daw and the former Prime Minister, Mr Moctar Ouane.
It said the Mission appreciated the renewed expression of the transitional authorities to respect the agreed deadline of the transition before the international community.
“However, the Mission is concerned about the lack of concrete action in the effective preparation of the electoral process.”
It said the Mission reiterated the necessity of respecting the date announced for the elections in order to ensure the credibility of the process.
It said the Mission also encouraged the transitional government to urgently develop a chronogram detailing the reforms and priority actions that needed to be undertaken in order to hold the presidential and legislative elections.
It informed that those actions included particularly consensus on the legal framework for the elections, the establishment of the voters’ register, and the identification of the body or bodies that would conduct the elections.
The Communique said the Mission thanked the Government of Mali for all the facilities put in place to ensure the successful conduct of the Mission.