The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has disclosed that the Transition Committee in Mali must be headed by civilians.
This decision was taken during an Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS in Accra, Ghana, presided over by the new ECOWAS chairman and President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo.
Recall that the sub-regional body has been involved in peace talks with the key actors in the Mali political crisis which reached a peak with the overthrow of the civilian administration by officers from the country’s Armed Forces, who formed the Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP).
Speaking to newsmen during an interview shortly after the Summit, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who represented President Muhammadu Buhari described the over 5-hour meeting as very fruitful.
He said, “For the purpose of what has happened in Mali, the transitional government must be headed by a civilian, and also the general principle that marks a transition period should be within a maximum of about 18 months.”
“There was consensus among all of the Heads of State, and I think it is helpful that the position of the Authority of Heads of State is speaking with one voice. And that ECOWAS is united on the most fundamental questions of democracy and good governance.
On the unanimity of the leaders’ position on the situation in Mali, Prof. Osinbajo said the consensus of ECOWAS leaders was important, especially on issues bothering on the progress of the sub-region.
A communiqué issued after the meeting reads in part: “The objective of the meeting was to allow the leadership of the Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) the opportunity to brief and present to Heads of State and Government the architecture and roadmap for the political transitional arrangement, in conformity with the decisions taken by the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government at its Extraordinary Summit via a videoconference on 28 August, 2020 and its 57th Ordinary Summit on 7 September, 2020 in Niamey, Republic of Niger.
‘’These decisions called for a 12-month civilian-led transition to be put in place by 15th September 2020.”
The communique added that the political transition will be headed by a civilian, in accordance with the decisions of the Authority of ECOWAS.
Asides from President Akufo-Addo and Prof. Osinbajo, other leaders present at the meeting included Presidents of Senegal, Macky Sall; Ivory Coast, Mr. Alassane Ouattara; Togo, Mr Faure Gnassingbe; Faso, Mr. Roch-Marc Christian Kabore; Guinea, Prof. Alpha Conde; Niger, Mr Mahamadou Issoufou; ECOWAS Special Envoy and Mediator to Mali Crisis, Former Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan; President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou; among other diplomats and senior officials