ECOWAS Condemns Military Takeover In Mali

By Bukar Bolori 

The Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) has condemned the military takeover in Mali.

Speaking at the Opening of the ECOWAS Parliament 1st 2021 Ordinary Session in Abuja, both President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, who is the current Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis said it was unfortunate that democracy was put to the sword in Mali despite all efforts at stopping the political instability in the country.

Akufo-Addo said the regional body is observing the situation in Mali with keen interest and would soon come out with a position.

The Ghanaian President as head of ECOWAS’ Authority of Heads of State and Government, while declaring the Parliamentary Session opened, said the situation in Mali will need to be urgently addressed.

Akufo-Addo, in his opening address, said he has authorized the ECOWAS mediation delegation to Mali which is headed by former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan to go to Mali and do an assessment on the entire situation. He said, thereafter that, he will look at the report and then summon an emergency extraordinary session of heads of states and government of the ECOWAS region to review the relationship between ECOWAS and Mali.

Speaker of Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Rt Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis said the regional parliament is condemning in its entirety the military takeover in the Republic of Mali.

The Speaker who delved on the efforts made so far by ECOWAS Parliament regarding the situation in Mali, said “earlier this year, I led a Parliamentary Fact-Finding Mission to that Country and held discussions with all stakeholders in the transition process. We were assured by all parties of their commitment towards a transition to democratic rule.” 

He said it is quite unfortunate that: “We have observed a few days ago, a dramatic shift in the political situation, which led to the arrest of the Transitional President, His Excellency Bah N’Daw and the Prime Minister, Mr. Moctar Ouane.”

He said:“The ECOWAS Parliament condemns, in the strongest terms, the military takeover in Mali and all acts in the region that threatens or stalls the process of entrenching democracy across our States.”

The Speaker said: “We have made many efforts in securing a peaceful and stable ECOWAS and it is about time we take firm and decisive actions against forces that tend to reverse this trend,” adding that “the ECOWAS Parliament stands ready to support all efforts aimed at putting Mali on the right trajectory of peace and democracy.”

On his part, the President of ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou whilst deliberating on the issue in the Republic of Mali said as a community, ECOWAS has engaged the current authorities in Mali for the immediate released of the former Interim President and former Interim Prime Minister. 

He assured that in the coming days, they will have to brief the various organs of ECOWAS and ensure that decision is taken. 

Meanwhile, it should be noted that the Republic of Mali is one of the 15 member states of the ECOWAS, with 6 Members of Parliament representing it in the ECOWAS Parliament. In that country, the interim president and prime minister resigned on Wednesday, two days after they were arrested by the military.

President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane were said to have been taken to a military base outside the capital on Monday after a cabinet reshuffle in which two officers lost their posts.

The intervention led by Vice President Assimi Goita, according to international press, has jeopardised Mali’s transition back to democracy after a coup in August overthrew former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. It has provoked international condemnation and raised fears that a political crisis in Bamako could affect regional security.

In his goodwill message, the Nigeria’s Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan said there is need for continued regional collaboration for economic development in West Africa.

He said: “The ECOWAS protocol on Free Movement of Persons and Goods remains a prized policy, for instance; insecurity, instability, and conflicts are matters requiring continuous attention. 

“The freedom to move between member nations is helpful to sub-regional economic growth, besides increasing the attendant benefits like job creation, reduction in underemployment, stimulation of economic multipliers, and better wellbeing. 

“This can hardly happen in an atmosphere of strife, cross-border crimes like banditry, insurgency, drug trafficking, and ceaseless ethno-religious struggles, amidst others.”

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