The President of the Republic of Ghana and chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the political stalemate in the West African state of Mali cannot continue beyond today, 15 September 2020.
This was the deadline for resolution of the Mali impasse set by ECOWAS heads of state at their last meeting on 28 August 2020 in Niamey, Niger.
Addressing the opening ceremony of a 13-member consultative ECOWAS meeting at Peduase Presidential Lodge in the Aburi area of the Eastern Region, President Akufo-Addo said he is hopeful that the meeting will resolve the Mali crisis.
“We need to bring finality to our deliberations on Mali. That country cannot afford any delay in putting a responsible government in place following the events of 18 August where our colleague, His Excellency President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, was an object of a coup d’état in his country,” Akufo-Addo said.
“The terrorists are taking advantage of the situation in Mali to flex their muscles even more. Today is supposed to be the day when the military junta in Mali is to put in place a government which is to respond to the criteria we set out at our last summit on 28 August 2020.
“That has not been done. The circumstances of life in Mali today require that closure be brought to the matter now and it is my belief that the face-to-face meeting between us, representing the ECOWAS community, and the military leaders in Bamako, provides us with the best opportunity to find a firm resolution,” the president said.
President Akufo-Addo said he was encouraged by the military leaders of Mali having taken the first step by responding to his invitation to Peduase.
“Fortunately, the military leaders have also responded positively to my invitation and are here to meet with us,” Akufo-Addo said.
That step, he argued, was a good one and he was confident that a firm resolution of the matter would be reached after closed-door deliberations.
During the closed-door session, the president of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, will deliver a presentation on the socio-political situation in Mali.
His address will be followed by another presentation on the socio-political situation in Mali with regard to the transition scheme.
It will be presented by the president of Mali’s Comité national pour le salut du peuple (CNSP or “National Committee for the Salvation of the People”), Colonel Assimi Goïta.
The summit is then expected to issue a communiqué on the conclusions reached.
Participants in the summit
Among the personalities attending the consultative meeting were the president of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré; the president of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara; Professor Alpha Condé, the president of Guinea; and Mahamadou Issoufou, president of Niger. Others in attendance were Professor Yemi Osinbajo, vice-president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; President Faure Gnassingbé of the Republic of Togo; Pierre Buyoya, the African Union high representative for Mali and the Sahel and former Burundian president; the special representative of the United Nations secretary general, Mahamat Annadif; the president of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou; the lead mediator and former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan; and the leader of Mali’s CNSP, Colonel Assimi Goïta.
Click to listen to President Akufo-Addo’s opening address at the consultative meeting.
Wilberforce Asare / Asaase Radio