At least 10 ECOWAS leaders are expected to attend an extraordinary meeting aimed at restoring constitutional order in Mali following the May 24 “coup within a coup.”
Also expected at the summit is junta leader Col. Assimi Goita, who assumed power after the sacking of the transition government’s President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane.
In a statement to the Press on Saturday, the Ghanaian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said: “I am pleased to address you this morning on preparations towards the forthcoming extraordinary session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, which will be convened in Accra on Sunday 30th May, 2021.
She said: “In line with the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, the President of the Republic, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in his capacity as Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, following due consultations with his peers decided to convene this extraordinary summit.
She explained that the purpose of the summit is to enable the Authority deliberate and take consequential decisions on the evolving political and security situation in the Republic of Mali.
Botchwey said: “As you are all aware, the past few days have witnessed some worrying developments in Mali. The arrest and detention of the President and Prime Minister of the Transition Government by the military has necessitated a re-evaluation of the strategies adopted by ECOWAS to bring normalcy to the country.”
She recalled that at the behest of the President of the Republic, an ECOWAS Mediation team led by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan – who is ECOWAS Special Envoy and Mediator for Mali – embarked on a fact-finding mission to Mali from 25th to 26th May, 2021 to assess the situation and explore opportunities for the resolution of the crisis.
The Ghanaian Foreign Minister who said President Jonathan would report to the summit on the outcome of the mission, noted that “the convening of the Extraordinary Session demonstrates the unwavering commitment of the President of the Republic towards addressing the political situation in Mali.
She recalled an earlier emergency summit on situation in Mali held in 2020, demanded that the Malian authorities ensure the transition government is civilian-led and should last for a period of 18 months, which will be used to prepare for election and handing over before the latest military putsch.
Botchwey said: “It is hoped that all the political actors in Mali will support the outcome of the Extraordinary Summit to be held tomorrow (Sunday) in order to restore constitutional order in our sister country as soon as practicable.
“The outcome of the summit will be critical to sustaining the momentum for the return of democracy and stability in Mali.”
According to her, those expected at the summit include 10 Heads of State and Government who have confirmed their participation.
She noted that both Guinea and Cape Verde are yet to confirm participation.
The President and Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission are also expected and former Nigeria President Jonathan is expected in his capacity as ECOWAS Special Mediator for Mali.
Michael Olugbode in Abuja