Mali – Politics –Crisis – Mediation

W/African leaders in Mali crisis talks

APA-Bamako (Mali)

Several West African leaders have jetted into Bamako on Thursday, hoping to succeed where the regional grouping Ecowas has failed to find a way out of the political crisis rocking Mali in recent weeks.

 APA has exclusively learnt that a delegation of Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are in the Malian capital to seek a solution to the serious impasse between President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and the opposition who are demanding his immediate resignation.

The presidential delegation includes the leaders of Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Senegal and Nigeria.

While in Bamako, presidents Nana Akufo Addo, Alassane Ouattara, Mahamadou Issoufou, Macky Sall and Muhammadu Buhari are hoping to influence a positive outcome out of the dialogue after the failure of an initial mediation attempt by the regional bloc led by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who ended a visit to Mali on Sunday after four days of talks that began last Wednesday.

 “We have met with the M5-RFP four times and we have not been able to bridge our differences,” Jonathan told a press conference.

 The Malian leader has been holed up in his palace for more than a month by the June 5 Movement - Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP), which is demanding his resignation. 

This collective, led by the influential Imam Mahmoud Dicko, brings together religious leaders and chieftains from Malian politics and civil society.

 Following its numerous consultations, the West African mediation issued a series of proposals that were essentially identical to those rejected the day before by the movement.

 The mediators called for the appointment, “as a matter of urgency, of a government of national unity, based on consensus” with 50 percent of its members from the ruling coalition, 30 percent from the opposition and 20 percent from civil society.

ECOWAS mediators also recommended the appointment, through a complex mechanism, of a new Constitutional Court to deal as a matter of priority with the dispute over the results of the March-April 2020 parliamentary elections.

 However, the protest movement believes that the solutions proposed by the regional grouping “do not agree at all with the aspirations and expectations expressed by the M5-RFP and supported by the overwhelming majority of the Malian people.” 

In reality, the negotiations are stuck over maintaining Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta as the country’s leader, a position espoused by Ecowas.

 However, mediators of the regional organisation stressed, in their final declaration, that “no form of unconstitutional accession to power will be accepted.”

 In order to make the IBK regime yield, the M5-RFP held, every Friday, large demonstrations at the Independence Square in Bamako. 

The demonstration on 10 July degenerated into three days of unrest, the worst in the capital since 2012. 

Officially, 11 people were killed and more than 100 have been injured during the unrest.



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