Panafrican News Agency

Mali: Military junta, ECOWAS made significant progress after three-day meeting in Bamako

Bamako, Mali (PAegional NA) - The National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), a military junta that took power last Tuesday in Mali, and the delegation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have made significant progress after three days of discussions in Bamako, PANA learned from official sources.

The former President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who led the ECOWAS delegation, will have to report on the results of his mission to regional Heads of State who will, on Wednesday, consider the socio-political situation in Mali, hit by sanctions of the sub-regional organization following the coup d'état in that country.

"Nothing is yet decided for the transition, its architecture will be decided between Malians, the outgoing president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta resigned on his own free will and is no longer interested in power. The now-former president can be secured in a place of his choice and will be able to go for treatment and return whenever he wants," said the junta spokesman, Colonel Major Ismail Wagué, after Monday's meeting.

He confirmed that an ECOWAS summit is scheduled for Wednesday to discuss political developments in Mali and possibly the lifting or easing of sanctions.

For his part, Dr. Jonathan said, after the meeting with the military coup perpetrators, that the military authorities and ECOWAS agreed on a number of issues.

"What we are doing is in the interest of Mali and ECOWAS, because what happens in Mali will affect the rest of ECOWAS because the countries are linked," said the former president of Nigeria, who recalled that "what is happening in Mali is not a specific case for this country since it has already happened elsewhere in the ECOWAS space".

He added that in the face of this, the sub-regional organization uses the same format and approach to address these various issues, adding that in his view, the approach of the community-based organization is based on its Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Governance.

Dr. Jonathan explained that the ECOWAS mission first wanted to understand the point of view of the outgoing president whom it visited, before the meeting with the CNSP.

"We asked him (Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta) what he proposes as a way forward. He told us that he had resigned, that he was not forced to do so and that he does not want to return to power either," Dr. Jonathan said, adding that the former president has wished that a transition administration be set up to allow the country to return to civilian rule as soon as possible.

"Whether it is an elected or transitional government, the decision rests with the Malian people. But the duty of ECOWAS is to make everyone understand that there is a protocol that governs the region," he explained, noting that when there is an abnormal situation, this protocol applies.

Dr. Jonathan said he would report to ECOWAS heads of state who will meet on Wednesday to look again at the situation in Mali.

-0- PANA GT/BEH/MTA/VAO 25Aug2020