Panafrican News Agency

Extraordinary Summit on Mali to be held on 9 January in Accra, Ghana

Bamako, Mali (PANA) - An extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Mali will be held on 9 January in Accra, Ghana, announced a statement of the Commission of the sub-regional organization, made public Saturday.

This announcement comes after the Malian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdoulaye Diop, handed over a draft timetable for the elections in Mali to the current President of ECOWAS, Ghanaian Head of State, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Friday 31 December.

According to the statement, the Ghanaian president has invited the ECOWAS mediator for Mali, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, to visit Mali next Wednesday.

Abdoulaye Diop, at the head of a large Malian delegation, arrived Friday in Accra, Ghana, to present the conclusions of the National Refoundation Conference (ANR) to the current chairman of the Conference of Heads of State of ECOWAS.

"The president of the transition was keen that we should bring the conclusions of the NRA to the attention of the current president of ECOWAS so that he can inform the other heads of state," Diop said after an audience with President Nana Akufo-Addo in Accra on Friday afternoon.

"This step," he added, "is part of the 'respect' that the president of the transition in Mali, Colonel Assimi Goïta, has for the sub-regional organization, but it is also to show his good faith and his openness to dialogue and consultation in order to find solutions".

The delegation, which was dispatched a few hours after the end of the NRAs on Friday, was led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Diop.

Other members of the delegation were the minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga, the minister Delegate to the prime minister in charge of Political and Institutional Reforms, Mrs. Fatoumata Sékou Dicko, as well as the chairman of the Panel of High Personalities of the NRAs, former Malian Minister Zeïni Moulaye.

The timetable for the elections recommended by the NRAs ranges from six months to five years at the most.

According to reliable sources, the Malian delegation proposed a Constitutional revision in December 2023; territorial or communal elections in June 2024; legislative and senatorial elections in May 2025, and presidential elections in January 2026.

"But there are still discussions possible on the various options that have been decided," said the Malian minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

He, however, refrained from saying more about the "timetable which is part of the elements presented to the Ghanaian president and which will be shared and examined by all the heads of state of the sub-regional organization".

West African leaders and Malian authorities have still not found common ground on the duration of the transition.

On the subject, the Malians have spoken. And the delegation sent to Accra "faithfully" reported what was decided "on the duration of the transition to ensure that this is the basis for a dialogue with ECOWAS in order to be able to reach a consensus on the requirements of our regional community with the concerns and demands of Malians," explained Mr. Diop.

He hoped that ECOWAS could come to engage in technical discussions and see "to what extent the two parties can move towards a consensual solution and the adoption of a timetable that can enshrine the return to a normal constitutional order".

"The Ghanaian president has taken note and promised to share all this information with the other heads of state for consideration," said the Malian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

It should be recalled that the legislative and presidential elections had been recommended by ECOWAS on 27 February 2022, thus ending the transition period in Mali.

The transitional authorities in Mali considered that it was impossible to organize elections on that date in view of the immense problems (political, security, social) facing the country at the moment.

They set about organizing the NRAs in December, with the aim of enabling Malians to discuss among themselves and find ways and means of resolving the multidimensional crisis that the country has been experiencing since 2012.

-0- PANA  BBA/RA  2Jan2022