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ECOWAS threatens actors in Mali crisis with sanctions

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Former president of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan is seen in Bamako on July 23, 2020, where West African leaders will gather in a fresh push to end an escalating political crisis in the fragile state of Mali. In an exceptional one-day summit, the presidents of Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Niger have scheduled meetings with Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and leaders of a protest movement clamouring for his resignation. MICHELE CATTANI / AFP

The Extraordinary Session of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government has threatened sanctions against any party that disobeys its recommendations geared at resolving the political impasse in Mali.

Specifically, a meeting, attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, outlined recommendations based on the roadmap produced by ECOWAS Special Mediator to the landlocked country, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

The sub-regional leaders insisted on respect for the institutions of the republic, especially the constitutional means of ascending to power in conformity with the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.

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The virtual parley observed that the key establishments in the troubled nation were inoperative, harping on re-establishing them as quickly as possible for proper functioning of the state and management of all issues raised by the aggrieved.

A communique read by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, said the gathering also implored the political parties to ensure the immediate resignation of all the 31 members of parliament whose elections were contested.

On the Constitutional Court, the leaders asked the relevant bodies to facilitate its immediate re-composition in deference to extant laws.

“In case of difficulty for the various bodies in designating their members to the Constitutional Court, the President of the Republic will use the exceptional power provided by Article 50 of the Constitution of Mali to nominate the nine members,” they added.

Regarding executive branch, the ECOWAS bigwigs recommended the enthronement of a government of national unity in line with the recommendations of the mediator.

They encouraged the opposition, particularly the M5-RFP, to participate in the administration.

The main task of the coalition government, according to them, will be to deal with the consequences of the demonstrations, and implement all reforms and recommendations issued by the Inclusive National Dialogue for improved governance.

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“In particular, the implementation of the Algiers Agreements will need to be accelerated,” they stated.

The heads of state also asked the authorities to quickly identify those behind the violence that claimed lives and properties between the 10th and 12th of this month.

The chief executives equally sought the release of opposition leader, Soumaila Cisse, who was abducted on March 25 this year.

The ECOWAS Commission was advised to put in place a monitoring committee for the implementation of the resolutions, even as the stakeholders were directed to implement the decisions within 10 days.

However, erstwhile presidential candidate of National Action Council (NAC), Dr. Olapade Agoro, yesterday chided the Nigerian leader for spearheading peace in a neighbouring country at the expense of Nigerians that are currently ravaged by insecurity.

In a statement in Ibadan, he said it was a “dastardly political inconsideration on the part of the Federal Government to be celebrating 601 ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists without an inkling for thousands of lives they had wasted.”

The traditional leader maintained that terrorism had taken over the country.

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