Panafrican News Agency

FM appeals for understanding from Int'l community on Mali's political crisis

Bamako, Mali (PANA) - The Malian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdoulaye Diop, has appealed to the international community to show a dispassionate understanding of the ongoing political crisis in Mali, especially the events of May 25 which toppled the transitional administration.

Speaking during a meeting on Monday in Bamako with ambassadors accredited to, and representatives of international organisations in Mali, Diop expressed his gratitude "to African countries and the international community for the sacrifices they made in Mali, which was plunged into crisis since 2012.

He saluted the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for its constant support through summits devoted to resolve the situation in Mali.

"Following the advent of new authorities at the head of the transition, the extraordinary summit of heads of state of the organisation, held in Accra on 30 May, suspended Mali. However, it did not abandon our country. For, at this summit, ECOWAS not only reaffirmed its firm commitment to see the transition process through, but also urged all its partners to continue their support for Mali for the success of the transition," Mr. Diop said.

He said sanctions can only make Mali more fragile and expose the Sahel region even more.

"Our efforts must be focused on the success of the transition. A lifting of the suspension and a constructive engagement with the transition authorities and all Malian actors will greatly contribute to this," Diop insisted.

The Minister reaffirmed the unwavering determination of the transitional authorities to respect all the commitments they have made, in particular the organisation of credible and transparent elections at the scheduled time, the implementation of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement, the implementation of institutional reforms in order to provide the country with credible governance structures, and the improvement of security to renew control of the administration over the entire territory.

At the end of the meeting, Diop expressed the hope that Mali will regain its place on the international scene and maintain a constructive engagement with the international community.

"It is the solidarity of countries and the international community and their understanding that Mali needs," Diop added.

For his part, the dean of the diplomatic corps, the ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco, Hassan Naciri, assured that the international community has never abandoned Mali.

Bart Ouvry, the European Union ambassador to Mali, said it was very important to maintain their support for the transition because they recognised Mali's central role in stabilising the whole of the Sahel and the whole of West Africa.

According to him, the assurances given by the Minister on the organisation of credible elections within the deadline are very important for the European Union.

He renewed the commitment of the European Union to support the organisation of elections.

Several international and sub-regional organisations, notably the African Union, ECOWAS and the International Organisation of the Francophonie, suspended Mali from their bodies; the World Bank has also temporarily suspended its financial operations in Mali, following the military coup against the transitional authorities on 24 May.

Nine months since the military overthrow of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Mali is still neck deep into more political crisis, as Malian army officers angry with a government reshuffle detained transitional President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, who were appointed in September under international pressure with the task of steering the country back to full civilian rule in the wake of an August 2020 coup.

Col. Assimi Goita, the leader of last year’s power grab and vice president of the interim government, accused the pair of violating the transitional charter and said elections will take place next year as planned.

West African leaders decided at an extraordinary summit on Sunday to suspend Mali from ECOWAS after a second coup in nine months by the poor Sahel country's military, but stopped short of reimposing sanctions.

The putsch had sparked warnings of fresh sanctions and deep concerns over stability in the volatile Sahel region.

Ten regional heads of state and three foreign ministers attended the summit in the Ghanaian capital, with former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, serving as mediator in the crisis.

-0- PANA GT/JSG/SOC/BBA/VAO 22June2021