Mali coup: ECOWAS communique details 6 points for civilian handover

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has issued a guideline for immediate restoration of civilian governance in Mali.

ECOWAS released the guideline amid threats of sanctions if the military junta that ousted former Mali President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, holds on to power.

This was after a meeting presided over by the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, who doubles as the Chairman of the sub regional bloc.

This was the first meeting of Mr Akufo-Addo as Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government after his appointment few weeks prior to the gathering.

Held in Accra on Tuesday, September 15, the meeting had the coup leader, Col Assimi Goita, in attendance.

He led a military revolt which seized power on August 18.

Col Goita, the leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), presented a roadmap to install a transition government towards a return to democratic governance.

ECOWAS had requested for the transition to be in place by September 15, a directive issued deliberations at an Extraordinary Summit via video conference on August 28 on Ordinary Summit on September 7.

After discussions by eight ECOWAS Heads of State with the military regime, ECOWAS stated as follows:

  1. Both the President and the Prime Minister of the transition will be civilians during the entire period. The nomination of these two key personalities will be done immediately.
  2. The Transition Vice-President provided for in the Transition Charter shall not, under any circumstances, replace the Transition President.
  3. The CNSP will be dissolved immediately the civilian transition is put in place.
  4. The Heads of State and Government took note that the length of the political transition will be 18 months maximum with effect from 15th September 2020.
  5. Once a civilian-led transition is put in place, ECOWAS will fully accompany the Republic of Mali towards the restoration of constitutional order, in line with the relevant protocols of ECOWAS.
  6. With regards to sanctions, in line with the decisions of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, such sanctions will be lifted immediately when the Transition President and the Prime Minister are effectively designated.

ECOWAS further called for the release of former Prime Minister Boubou Cisse and other political leaders being held as captives.

However, ECOWAS has given the coup leader a chance to go back to Mali and consult with his leaders on the ECOWAS directive and act on it.

Failure of the military to adhere to the resolutions will attract sanctions on Mali which could include closure of member states’ borders to Mali, restriction of financial inflows and exclusion  from decisions and meetings by member-states.

“I am hoping that by the time he [Col. Goita] gets there, these things would have been completed so that the sanctions will be lifted. We’re talking, hopefully in days, not in weeks” Mr Akufo-Addo told the press after the meeting.

ECOWAS leaders present at the meeting were:

President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kabore ; President of of Cote d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara; President of Guinea, Alpha Conde; President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou of; President of Senegal, Macky Sall; President of Togo, Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe; and Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osibanjo.

The delegation of the CNSP comprised of Col Assimi Goita, President of the CNSP; Colonel Major Ismael Wague, Spokesperson of the CNSP and Ambassador Boubacar Gouro Diall, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mali.

Other high profile dignitaries at the meeting were:

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, ECOWAS Special Envoy and Mediator to Mali; Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission; Pierre Buyoya, High Representative of the African Union in Mali and the Sahel; and General Francis A. Behanzin, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security.

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