Panafrican News Agency

Mali: ECOWAS Mediator, Goodluck Jonathan, invites Malians to dialogue for an inclusive transition

Bamako, Mali (PANA) - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mediator for Mali, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday called on Malians to dialogue for an inclusive transition, following a two-day visit to the country.

Jonathan, who was leading an ECOWAS mission, said he noted progress in the implementation of the Transition in Mali, after meeting with stakeholders, following the audience granted him Tuesday afternoon by the President of the Transition and Head of State, Bah N'Daw, with whom he discussed his exchanges with the nation's active forces on the transition process underway in Mali.

On leaving the audience, Jonathan recalled that the sub-regional organization has played "an intermediary role for the establishment of the transition team following the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on August 18, 2020".

According to him, the transition team was put in place following the Accra meeting held on September 15, 2020, which recommended that the transition should last 18 months.

"By Friday, January 15, we will have consumed four months in the transition period. As ECOWAS Mediator, it seemed appropriate to us to go to Mali to see since that time, what could be done," said Jonathan, who said he discussed not only with politicians but also with civil society, NGOs, religious leaders to see what has been achieved so far and what can be done better.

He stressed that "these exchanges that we had with different parts of society allowed us to collect certain information and data that we presented to the Prime Minister, the Vice President, the President and the Chairman of the National Transitional Council (CNT)".

"It is important to come from time to time to see how the situation is progressing," Jonathan said, adding that "this is the dynamic that we are part of and we hope that if this trend is maintained, by the beginning of next year, elections can be held and a democratically-elected government can take over the affairs of the country".

Jonathan was also received by the Vice-President of the Transition, Col. Assimi Goita, and the Chairman of the National Transition Council (CNT), acting as Parliament, Col. Malick Diaw.

In its final communiqué at the end of the visit, the ECOWAS mission said it had noted progress in the establishment of the organs of the Transition and the appointment of all the heads of these various organs, namely the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the CNT.

It also took note of the efforts that the government is making on the security front, despite the significant challenges that remain to be met.

In addition, the ECOWAS mission encouraged the government to finalize and communicate a roadmap, together with an action plan indicating the various activities to be carried out while respecting the 18-month transition period.

It stressed the need to strengthen consultations through a dialogue open to all stakeholders to ensure an inclusive transition process.

This will allow for greater internal ownership of the various decisions relating to the Transition, in particular the drafting of the basic texts.

In the process leading to credible and transparent elections, the ECOWAS mission encouraged the authorities to take into account, where possible, the resolutions and recommendations of the National Inclusive Dialogue (DNI), particularly with regard to the management of elections.

On the social front, the delegation invited the Transition authorities and social actors to dialogue in order to arrive at solutions that safeguard Mali's interests.

In addition, the mission was concerned about the recent arrests following an alleged attempt to destabilize and undermine state security.

It called for the legal procedures in force to be respected in all transparency and with respect for human rights.

The former Prime Minister, Boubou, Cissé, and other personalities were accused of plotting to destabilize the transition period in Mali.

While some have been arrested, including columnist Mohamed Bathjily, known as Ras Bath, the former Prime Minister remains untraceable, hidden somewhere in the country.

-0- PANA GT/JSG/MTA/VAO 13Jan2021