…Calls for immediate nomination of new civilian Prime Minister
By Egena Sunday Ode
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has suspended Mali over the lingering political impasse which has been worsened by the recent coup in the country.
The decision to suspend Mali fr the regional body was reached at the emergency Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS on the political situation in the country on Sunday in Accra, Ghana.
The meeting was at the instance of the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS and President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo.
Prior to the Extraordinary Summit, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari had met with the Special Envoy and ECOWAS Mediator in Mali, former President Goodluck Jonathan, who briefed him on the latest developments in the country following his meeting with key political actors in the West African country.
As the situation in Mali continues to evolve, Nigeria had condemned the May 24 military coup, the subsequent detention of the president and prime minister by soldiers, and called for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilian officials detained.
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 Transition on 26th May 2021, as well as to determine the next line of action for the transition.
According to the communique issued at the end of the one day summit, the Heads of State expressed strong and deep concerns over the present crisis in Mali, which is coming halfway to the end of the agreed transition period, in the context of the security challenges related to incessant terrorist attacks and the Covid-19 Pandemic with its dire socio-economic impacts.
They, therefore, demanded the immediate release of the former President and Prime Minister of the Transition who are kept under house arrest.
The Heads of State also strongly condemned the recent coup d’etat, which they described as 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.
“After extensive discussions on the situation in Mali, the Heads of State and Government took the following decisions.
“Reaffirm the importance and necessity of respecting the democratic process for ascending to power, in conformity with the 2001 ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
“They particularly condemn all actions that led to ongoing instability in Mali, and its attendant consequences in the region.
“Decide to suspend Mali from ECOWAS Institutions in line with ECOWAS provisions.
“Call for a new civilian Prime Minister to be nominated immediately.
“A new inclusive government should be formed to proceed with the transition programme.
“Reaffirm the need to respect the transition period of 18 months decided in Accra. In this context, the date of 27th February 2022 already announced for the Presidential election should be absolutely maintained. A monitoring Mechanism will be put in place to this effect.
“Reiterate the earlier decisions that the Head of the transition, the Vice-President and the Prime Minister of the transition should not, under any circumstances, be candidates for the forthcoming Presidential election.
“Reaffirm ECOWAS’ support to accompany the transition process in Mali.
“Urge all international partners (the African Union, the United Nations, and the European Union) to continue to support Mali towards the successful implementation of the transition.
“Congratulate and encourage the Mediator to persevere with his mediation efforts and remain seized of the situation in Mali through the Local Monitoring Committee.
“The Heads of State also called for the immediate implementation of all these decisions in conformity with the transition timetable defined. To this end, they urge the Mediator to return to Mali within a week to engage stakeholders on these decisions,” the communique said.