Thursday, 2nd December 2021
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

Mali expels West African bloc representative

Mali's interim government has expelled the representative of West African bloc ECOWAS from the conflict-ridden and coup-prone country, the government said, over actions incompatible with his status.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 22, 2020 Colonel Assimi Goita (C), President of CNSP (National Committee for the Salvation of People) addresses to the press during the ceremony of the 60th anniversary of Mali’s independence in Bamako, one day after announcing that the transitional presidency would be assigned to a retired colonel, Bah Ndaw, 70 years, ephemeral Minister of Defence in 2014. – Malian officers upset with a government reshuffle have detained the president and prime minister at an army camp outside the capital, triggering broad international condemnation and demands for their immediate release. President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane lead an interim government that was installed under the threat of regional sanctions following a putsch in August, and the detentions on May 24, 2021 raised fears of a second coup. Briefly reached by phone before the line cut, Prime Minister Ouane told AFP that soldiers affiliated with interim Vice President Colonel Assimi Goita “came to get him”. (Photo by MICHELE CATTANI / AFP)

Mali’s interim government has expelled the representative of West African bloc ECOWAS from the conflict-ridden and coup-prone country, the government said, over actions incompatible with his status.

“The government of the Republic of Mali has decided to declare the ECOWAS special representative in Mali persona non grata, in view of his actions that are incompatible with his status,” according to a government statement broadcast on state television.

Hamidou Boly has 72 hours to leave the Sahel state.

It is not clear what triggered the expulsion. However, it comes at a time of growing pressure on Mali’s military rulers to return power to civilians.

Mali slid into political turmoil last year, culminating in a putsch led by Colonel Assimi Goita in August 2020 against president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Under the threat of sanctions, the military then appointed an interim civilian government tasked with steering the country back to democratic rule.

But Goita overthrew the leaders of that interim government in May — in a second putsch — and was later declared interim president himself, drawing international condemnation.

Both the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations have insisted on swift elections to restore civilian rule.

Mali’s interim government has said that it will set an election date after holding a “nation forum on rebuilding” in December.

Interim Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga told reporters on Sunday, after a meeting with UN representatives, that security is the “highest priority”, however.

Swathes of the vast nation of 19 million people lie outside of government control because of a jihadist insurgency that first emerged in the north in 2012, before spreading to the centre of the country, as well as neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

In this article