From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has suspended the Republic of Mali from ECOWAS institutions in line with ECOWAS provisions.
The suspension followed the recent political developments in Mali which culminated into the detention of the Interim President of Mali, Bah Ndaw, and the Prime Minister, Moctar Ouane, by Malian soldiers.
In a communique issued at the end of an emergency meeting of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Accra, Ghana, ECOWAS leaders said 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.
The ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, after the presentation of the report by the ECOWAS Special Envoy and Mediator to Mali, former President Goodluck Jonathan, expressed strong and deep concerns over the present crisis in Mali, which was 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.
“The Heads of State demand the immediate release of the former president and prime minister of the transition who are kept under house arrest.
“The Heads of State strongly condemn this recent coup d’etat, which is 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,” the communique read.
The ECOWAS Heads of State and Government further urged all international partners, particularly the the African Union, the United Nations, and the European Union, to continue to support Mali towards the successful implementation of the transition.
The ECOWAS leaders also congratulated and encouraged Jonathan to persevere with his mediation efforts and remain seized of the situation in Mali through the Local Monitoring Committee.
“The Heads of State call 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 Heads of State express their gratitude to His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and the current Chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), for convening this Extraordinary Summit on the political situation in Mali and for the facilities made available to ensure the successful conduct of the extraordinary summit,” the communique further read.