Sierra Leone Telegraph: 6 October 2020:
Two weeks ago, leaders of the West African regional block – ECOWAS, agreed to continue their economic embargo imposed on Mali after the country’s military leaders overthrew the government and arrested the president.
But since then, there has been a gradual return to normality, heralded by the appointment of a transition government, led by the country’s former minister of defence – retired Colonel Bah Ndaw, who is acting as interim president, and former foreign minister – Moctar Ouane as prime minister. The coup leader – Colonel Assimi Goita, is occupying the interim vice presidency.
This transition arrangement which is expected to lead to fresh elections, should last for 18 months.
Writing in a statement published today, this is what the ECOWAS leaders, led by the Ghanaian Head of State – Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (Photo) said:
1. In conformity with the Provisions of ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance of 2001, the Heads of State and Government took important decisions during Extraordinary Summits on 20 and 28 August 2020, following the Coup d’Etat by the military in Mali on 18 August 2020. The Coup d’Etat led to the arrest of the democratically elected President of the Republic, H.E. Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA as well as some members of the government and other officials. In line with the provisions of the Community Protocol, sanctions were imposed on Mali.
2. The Heads of State and Government noted that this Coup d’Etat occurred in the context of a socio-political crisis after the parliamentary elections of March/April 2020. This crisis took the form of violent protests organized by some political parties, civil society actors and religious groups.
3. The Heads of State and Government requested the immediate release of H.E. Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA and wish him well as he left the country.
4. The Heads of State and Government held a mini-Summit in Accra on 15 September 2020 and on this occasion met with the military leadership of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP). This meeting aimed at finalizing the political Transition scheme in conformity with the decisions taken by the Extraordinary Summits held by videoconference on 28 August 2020 and by the 57th Ordinary Summit held on 7 September 2020 in Niamey, Republic of Niger.
5. During the Accra Summit, the Heads of State and Government reaffirmed the following decisions:
a. The political Transition will be civilian, in accordance with the decisions of the Authority of ECOWAS. In this regard, both the President and the Prime Minister of the transition will be civilians during the entire period.
b. The Vice-President of the Transition, provided for in the Transition Charter, shall not, under any circumstances, replace the Transition President.
c. The CNSP will be dissolved immediately after the civilian Transition is put in place.
d. The political Transition will last 18 months starting from 15 September, 2020.
e. Once a civilian led transition is put in place, ECOWAS will support the Republic of Mali towards the restoration of constitutional order, in line with its relevant Protocol.
f. Sanctions will be lifted when the Transition President and the Prime Minister are effectively designated.
6. The Heads of States and Government took note of the recent nomination and swearing-ing of Mr. Bah N’DAW as a civilian President of the Transition. They congratulate the President of the Transition and express ECOWAS Support for the implementation of his mission.
7. The Heads of State and Government also took note of the nomination of Mr. Moctar Ouane, a civilian, as Prime Minister of the Transition.
8. The nomination of the President and the Prime Minister of the Transition should lead to the formation of the government.
9. In addition, the Charter of the Transition published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Mali taking into account other Decisions of the Heads of State and Government was received by ECOWAS on October 1st, 2020. These include:
The responsibility of the Vice-President of the Transition, in charge of security and defense.
– The removal of the provision whereby the Vice-President can replace the President of the Transition.
– The provision of an 18-months Transition period.
10. Taking into consideration these important decisions for the normalization of constitutional order in Mali and in view of the need to support this process, the Heads of State and Government decide to lift the sanctions imposed on Mali. They call on all bilateral and multilateral partner to also support Mali.
11. The Heads of State and Government demand that the new Authorities of the Transition in Mali implement rapidly other decisions of the Summit, in particular the release of all officials both military and civilian arrested since 18 August 2020 and the dissolution of the CNSP.
12. The Heads of States and Government also congratulate the Mediator for progress achieved in the political normalization in Mali
Signed: Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.