By Lizzy Okoji
President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, has initiated a convergence of immediate Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments for a decisive action over the recent military coup in Mali.
Akufo-Addo, who is the Chair of the Authority, made the call on Thursday in Abuja at the opening of the 2021 First Extra Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on May 25, the second time in nine months, Col. Assimi Goita seized power again in Mali, detaining transitional President, Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane.
Goita had accused the interim President and Prime Minister of failing in their duties.
The Chair, who also expressed worry on the development, said that ECOWAS had spent a lot of political and material resources in restoring democracy to Mali after the last junta in 2020
“My take is that we should call on the immediate Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments.
“The body is responsible for ironing out the transitional arrangement to decide on the way forward for ECOWAS and Mali.
“The Community will be kept fully abreast on development on the situation,” Akufo-Addo said.
He, however, noted that as Chair of the Authority, he already sent a high-level mediation team led by former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan to look into the crises.
He said that he, was however, yet to receive reports on the situation.
“We condemn the unfortunate situation of Mali which ECOWAS has invested so much of its political and material resources.
“As current Chair of the Authority, I authorised an ECOWAS delegation comprising high level mediator in the Malian crises led by former President of the Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan.
“Others are Ghanaian Foreign Minister, Shirley Botchway, who is also Chair of the ECOWAS Council of Minister, Chair of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Brou, to access the situation and report back to me,” he said.
According to him, due to the rains that have affected weather conditions for travels, the authority is yet to receive first hand report on the situation.
He gave assurance that the Community would be kept fully abreast on development on the situation.
The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Hon. Sidie Tunis, said that the Parliament also strongly condemned the military takeover in Mali, stating that the recurring junta in the country was a threat to democracy in the region.
Tunis said that the Parliament like other ECOWAS Institutions had taken several steps to restore democratic rule in Mali.
“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.
“Unfortunately 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.
According to him, 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.
“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.
“The ECOWAS Parliament stands ready to support all efforts aimed at putting Mali on the right trajectory of peace and democracy,” he said.
Also speaking, Brou said that ECOWAS had engaged the current authorities in Mali for the immediate release of the former Interim President and former Interim Prime Minister.
Brou said that the mediation team would brief the Chair of the Authority on its findings and the ECOWAS Community would be kept abreast of all interventions. (NAN)