ECOWAS Chairman President Akufo-Addo chairing a meeting of the sub-regional body yesterday

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to work hard to bring finality to the current crisis in Mali.

Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was ousted in a military coup led Col Assimi Goita on August 18, 2020, throwing the West African country into turmoil.

President Akufo-Addo who convened a meeting at Peduase Presidential Lodge yesterday in his capacity as Chairman of the sub-regional body, said there was the need to return Mali to its democratic state.

“My reason for this meeting is simple: we need to bring finality to our deliberations of Mali because that country can longer afford any delay in putting a responsible government in place following the events of 18th August when our colleague His Excellency Ibrahim Abubakar Keita was an object of a coup in his country.

“Terrorists are taking advantage of the situation to flex their muscles even more.

ECOWAS Chair President Nana Akufo-Addo and colleague Heads of State in the sub-region at Peduase Lodge meeting yesterday

“Today is supposed to be the day that the military junta in Mali is to put in a place a government that responds to the criteria we set out at our last summit on August 28, 2020. That has not been done”, President Akufo-Addo stated.

He believed that the regional body having a face-to-face interaction with the military leaders will find a lasting solution to the problem in that country.

“The circumstances of life in Mali require that that closure be brought to the matter now and it is my belief that the face to face meeting between us representing the ECOWAS community and the military leaders in Bamako affords us with the best opportunity to find a firm resolution.

He thanked the military leaders for responding positively to his invitation to the meeting.

“Fortunately, the military leaders have also responded positively to my invitation and are here to meet with us.

“I felt it’s prudent for us before meeting them to consent amongst ourselves and agree on a common position.

“That country can no longer afford any delay in putting a responsible government in place following the events of 18th of August”, President Akufo-Addo added.

The ECOWAS Chairman reminded the meeting that yesterday was the day for the military rulers to put in place a government, which should respond to the criteria set in August by the bloc.

An interim charter announced by the military leaders also stated that an interim legislative body was to be established comprising M5-RFP members.

Mali’s predicament

Mali is struggling with intense Islamist and ethnic violence, as well as a faltering economy.

Deep tensions between the military and the group which led enormous protests against ex-President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta only threatens further instability.

Ousted president

The ousted former president left the country last week.

The 75-year-old former leader flew to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 5 September for medical treatment, after suffering a minor stroke, military officials said.

His former chief of staff said he could be away for up to 15 days.

After the coup, West African leaders said they wanted a rapid return to civilian rule.

Mali’s new military rulers had previously said they wanted the interim period to last for two years.

“We make a commitment before you to spare no effort in the implementation of all these resolutions in the exclusive interest of the Malian people,” Col Assimi Goita, the head of Mali’s military junta, said.