MALI COUP: THE PRIORITY SHOULD BE SECURING THE COUNTRY FROM TERRORISTS- NIGERIAN PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI SPEAKS ON ECOWAS MEETING WITH THE CNSP MILITARY JUNTA
Following the Mali coup and the resignation of Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from power, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has said the priority in the Republic of Mali should be securing the country, which is largely occupied by terrorists.
President Buhari made this known through a statement released by his media aide Femi Adesina.
“About two-thirds of Mali is occupied by terrorists, and it makes common sense to secure the country, rather than pursuing individual interests,” Buhari said.
Buhari made the statement after he received briefings from the ECOWAS special Envoy led by former President Goodluck Jonathan who met and dialogued with the Military coup leaders in Mali.
The arrival of ECOWAS delegation in Mali following the recent coup.
The Subregional organisation of West African Countries ordered all its members to close land and air borders to Mali.
OUTCOME OF ECOWAS MEETING WITH MILITARY JUNTA IN MALI
The Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS headed by the former the president of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan visited Mali after the recent coup in the country.
These are the highlights of the discussions between ECOWAS and the military Junta who called themselves the National Committee for the Salvation of the People CNSP.
- The ECOWAS team were able to meet with the ousted President Ibrahim Boubour Keita. Keita told the ECOWAS team that the military was not detaining him but protecting him from an agitated population.
- Keita added that he had no wish to return to power as he had wanted to resign before the coup.
- The Military Junta said Keita was free to travel out of Mali for medical treatment with the ECOWAS’ guarantee that he would come back to Mali if the need arise for him to answer some questions in person.
- However, the CNSP said Prime Minister Boubou Cissé, and other civil and military personnel in custody would not be released until the security situation is guaranteed.
- On the issue of transition of power to civilian rule, the military Junta had stated that it would hand power back to civilians in a reasonable time. When tasked for a time frame, the military says it plans to hold onto power for 2-3 years. ECOWAS insisted that power should be handed to an interim government headed by a civilian or retired soldier for a maximum of 12 months. Afterwards, the interim government should organise elections to restore full constitutional order.
- The Junta and ECOWAS have failed to reach an agreement regarding the transition of power, but discussions are still open, and negotiations would continue virtually for now.
Speaking on the outcome of the meeting, Colonel-Major Ismaël Wagué, the spokesperson for CNSP said “we had discussions about the transition, the transition team, the transition president, the government. Nothing is stopped. Nothing is decided. We, at our level, the final architecture of the transition will be discussed and defined between us. We demanded, in view of the efforts that have been made, that they also see how to lift the sanctions.”
A virtual summit by ECOWAS heads of state and leaders has been scheduled for Friday where the stakeholders would determine the next step to take.
Ismaël Wagué, the spokesperson for CNSP addressing journalists on the outcome of the meeting with ECOWAS
There are indications that ECOWAS would consider lifting the sanctions placed on Mali during its meeting. President Buhari said he hopes that an amicable and generally acceptable position to all interested parties would be arrived at during the virtual meeting scheduled to hold on Friday.