The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has given Mali a 12-month ultimatum to transition into a civilian rule. Since the inception of Mali’s crisis, ECOWAS has kicked into mediation settlements with the opposition group before the crisis deteriorated into a coup.
Since then, there have been several mediation talks between ECOWAS and the military stakeholders in Mali. The recent virtual mediation meeting has directed the military to set an acceptable timetable for a return to democratic government.
This decision has been backed by President Muhammadu Buhari, who in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, called on the military leadership to be flexible in negotiations by putting the interest of all Malians and the harmony of the sub-region into consideration. He also urged the military to focus on the interest of Malians and protect the people from security threats, instead of going into governance.
“For the people of Mali, specifically the leadership, embracing Democracy and Good Governance is crucial to the country’s political stability. Mali cannot, therefore, afford to stand alone, hence the need to come to terms with the realities of an acceptable and workable transition compact that inspires the confidence of all Malians.
“With regards to other areas being negotiated, Nigeria believes that the people of Mali and the military leaders need to appreciate the fragility of their country and the imminent danger which it poses to the citizens of Mali as well as the ECOWAS sub-region, “the President said.
“I urge the military leadership to consider: the immediate release of all the remaining senior Government officials in detention, without pre-conditions; a transition process, to be completed in not more than 12 months, and which shall include the representatives of Malian stakeholders.
“This is a critical consideration for the new government to enjoy the cooperation and collaboration of regional and international community, and to allow the easing of sanctions imposed on Mali,” the President added.