President Akufo-Addo on Sunday met the leadership of ECOWAS in Accra to deliberate on the way forward, with regards to the Mali impasse.
Addressing the media ahead of the meeting, he was hopeful that their deliberations will yield results that will contribute to promoting peace and democracy in the country and West Africa at large.
The President commended his counterparts for their “continuous solidarity and commitment in responding to critical and urgent situations in the region” adding that “it is my expectation that we will take appropriate decisions that will advance the future of Mali and this region at large.”
The President explained that the meeting is to track progress with regard to decisions taken during the last summit, in Abuja, Nigeria, on Dec 12, 2021. At the Abuja meeting, ECOWAS leadership reiterated their strong concern about the transition processes in Mali and advised the transitional government to respect the date for holding elections, which is February 27, 2022.
“We indicated at the summit, our intention to review by December 31, 2021, the state of preparation by the Malian traditional authorities towards compliance with the agreed February for the conclusion of the Malian transition and the restoration of constitutional democratic order.”
Nonetheless, if the leadership is not satisfied with the state of progress by the authorities, it will undertake additional sanctions to achieve compliance,” he stated.
In connection with this, President Akufo-Addo said he received a Ministerial delegation from Mali, led by the Malian Foreign Minister on December 31, 2021, which communicated to him the chronogram of the transition that ECOWAS has been requesting for several months.
“I was informed that the 4 day National Re-foundation Conference, initiated by the transition authorities, recommended that elections should be held within a period of 6 months to 5 years to restore democracy in the country,” he said.
“The official proposal submitted to me by the transitional authorities under the hand of its head, indicated that the transition period should run for 5 years, subsequently by letter to me dated January 7, 2022, the head of the Malian transition stated that the period had now been modified to four years,” he added.
He explained that it is in the light of this decision that the ECOWAS Leadership is meeting to determine whether the update from the transitional authorities complies with the agreement reached on September 15, 2020, whether it is enshrined in the transition charter, and more fundamentally, whether it conforms to the community’s principles.
President Akufo-Addo added that “national, regional and international stakeholders are awaiting the results of our meeting. I’ll, therefore, hope that the outcome of our deliberations will contribute to promoting democracy and consolidating peace and security in Mali and our region.”
It would be recalled that on August 18, 2020, elements of the Malian Armed Forces began a mutiny.
Soldiers on pick-up trucks stormed the Soundiata military base in the town of Kati, where gunfire was exchanged before weapons were distributed from the armory and senior officers arrested.
Tanks and armoured vehicles were seen on the town’s streets, as well as military trucks heading for the capital, Bamako. The soldiers detained several government officials including President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who resigned and dissolved the government.
This is the country’s second coup in less than 10 years, following the 2012 coup d’etat.
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