Panafrican News Agency

Extraordinary summit on Mali's political crisis begins

Accra, Ghana (PANA) - A one-day extraordinary summit by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to discuss the political crisis in Mali began in Accra on Sunday afternoon with heads of state being urged to remain resolute in supporting the country to restore democracy.

The current chairman of ECOWAS, Ghana's president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in a brief speech said the summit will assess the situation, which began to unfold last Monday when the vice president of the transition, Col. Assimi Goita, caused the arrest of interim President Bah N'daw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane.

They later "resigned" their positions and Col. Goita declared himself interim president. The developments followed a cabinet reshuffle in which two military officers who played a key role in the August 2020 coup in Mali lost their jobs.

On Friday, the Constitutional Court installed Co. Goita  president of the transition and head of state.

President Akufo-Addo said the developments have violated the agreed terms of the transition, especially the provision that the interim vice president of the transition will not succeed the interim president.

He said ECOWAS is committed to the transition to restore democracy and stability to Mali, adding that the unfolding events, which have shaken the hopes that they had for for a peaceful transition, could have grave consequences for the sub-region.

The transitional arrangements were agreed in September last year after the coup in August and led to the lifting of sanctions imposed on Mali.

President Akufo-Addo said the meeting will hear a report from former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, the ECOWAS mediator on Mali, had talks last week with various people and groups as well as N'Daw and Col. Goita.

Some 10 leaders are present at the meeting, Ghanaian officials said. Col. Goita is also said to be in Accra.

-0- PANA MA 30May2021