Panafrican News Agency

ECOWAS leaders insist on Mali junta to have civilian leader in transition

Accra, Ghana (PANA) - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Tuesday insisted that the military junta in Mali accepts its conditions, including a civilian leader for the transition, for sanctions to be lifted.

A one-day consultative meeting on Mali held at the Presidential Lodge at Peduase, just outside Accra, did not reach a decision, but the chairman of ECOWAS, Ghana's President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said the junta leader, Colonel Assimi Goita, will consult with his colleagues on the issues raised.

“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 can begin the process of normalising the situation in Mali,” President Akufo-Addo told reporters.

He added that the ECOWAS mediator in Mali, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, will travel to Bamako in a week to assess the situation after which sanctions will be lifted when the junta satisfies the conditions.

The military junta has failed to meet ECOWAS' 15 September deadline to put in place a civilian government.

In his opening statement, President Akufo-Addo said there is the need to "bring finality to the deliberations on Mali", adding "we can't afford any delay to put in place a responsible government in Mali" after the 18 August coup that ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Kéita.

"Terrorists are taking advantage of the situation in Mali and are flexing their muscles," the Ghanaian leader said. 

The Malian junta, National Committee for the People’s Salvation (CNPS), held a three-day national consultation on the transition that ended last Saturday with the adoption of a Transition Charter and roadmap under which Mali will have a transition government for 18 months.

It said the transition government would, among other things, have a vice-president, a maximum of 25 ministers, a council which will be the legislative body made up of 121 members from the defence and security forces and all sectors in the country.

However, the main opposition movement, 5 June Movement–Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP), whose persistent demonstrations against President Kéita triggered the coup, has dissociated itself from the final Transition Charter, saying the conclusions do not reflect the views and decisions of the people.

The 5 June Movement–Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP) said the final document produced at the end the meeting particularly does not recognise its role and the martyrs of the fight for the Malian people for change.

"The desire to grab and confiscate power for the benefit of the National Committee for the People’s Salvation (CNSP), the junta which seized power 18 August, cannot justify the methods used, which weaken the transition process," said the communiqué.

-0- PANA MA/VAO 15Sept2020