Panafrican News Agency

Mali and ECOWAS fail to agree on timetable for transition

Bamako, Mali (PANA) - The Mediator of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Mali, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, ended a visit to the country on Sunday, without reaching an agreement with the authorities on the duration of the transition.

The sub-regional organisation has stuck to its proposal of 12 to 16 months for the duration of the transition, while the government, which had proposed 36 months, reduced it first to 29 months and finally 24 months, during negotiations between the two parties.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Malian government highlighted the efforts it has made since the beginning of the negotiations, while blaming the failure of the negotiations on the unwillingness of ECOWAS whose proposal has remained unchanged.

The new 24-month deadline was proposed by the President of the Transition, Colonel Assimi Goita, in a "last-ditch effort to reach a realistic and beneficial agreement" for both parties, the statement said, adding that all these proposals were rejected by ECOWAS.

The Malian government believes that the 24-month deadline is appropriate given the necessary implementation of certain reforms before elections whose results will be accepted by all.

The 16-month deadline proposed by ECOWAS only takes into account the electoral calendar, the Malian government said in its communiqué signed by the Minister of Territorial Administration and government spokesman.

For his part, the ECOWAS Mediator for Mali in a statement reaffirmed his willingness to "continue to discuss with the Malian authorities to agree on an acceptable transition timetable".

Mr. Jonathan, accompanied on his mission by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, also reiterated ECOWAS' constant solidarity with Mali and its people, as well as its commitment to facilitate an agreement for the restoration of constitutional order.

The ECOWAS Mediator asked the Local Follow-up Committee and ECOWAS experts to continue their work with the authorities.

-0- PANA GT/JSG/BBA/MA 21March2022