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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Ecowas is right to strong-arm Mali’s strongmen

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President Adama Barrow joined eight other heads of state invited by President Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana and the current chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States at an extraordinary summit on the political situation in Mali in Accra, Ghana over the weekend.

The leaders were joined by among others Goodluck Jonathan, former president of Nigeria as the special envoy and mediator to Mali; Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, president of the Ecowas Commission; El-Ghassim Wane, special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Mali and head of the Multidimensional Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

The extraordinary summit was convened to review the prevailing socio-political crisis in Mali following the arrest, detention and subsequent resignations of the president and the prime minister of the governing transitional government on 26th May 2021, as well as to determine the next line of action for the transition.

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The summit strongly condemned the recent coup d’etat, which is a violation of the decisions taken at the extraordinary summit held at the Peduase Lodge, Aburi, Ghana on 15th September 2020 and a violation of the Transition Charter.

Sitting right there in that hall was Colonel Assimi Goïta the coup leader who was declared by Mali’s constitutional court on Friday as the new interim president. He was serving as vice president before the latest coup and was a nondescript army officer before the August 2020 coup. The leaders told him to his face that what he did was unlawful, downright foolhardy and dangerous as it could worsen the instability in Mali with its wider grave consequences for the region.

He was told that he would not have any friends as long as he fails to respect the democratic process for ascending to power, in conformity with the 2001 Ecowas Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance. It was therefore in order that they suspended Mali from Ecowas Institutions in line with Ecowas provisions.

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This serial coupist should heed the summit’s call for a new civilian prime minister to be nominated immediately and a new inclusive government be formed to proceed with the transition programme.  In this context, the date of 27th February 2022 already announced for the presidential election should be absolutely maintained and a monitoring mechanism should be put in place to this effect.

Col Goïta should also heed the warning of the leaders that neither him nor his cohorts who orchestrated the coups or anyone who served in the transitional government for that matter should under any circumstances, be candidates in the forthcoming presidential election.  It is in the interest of Col Goïta and the country he professes to love so much that he does as is told so that democracy and the rule of law return to the country and Mali takes its rightful place in the league of nations as a proud, vibrant and progressive nation.

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