Mali: ECOWAS demands immediate appointment of civilian govt

Demonstrators backing the army took to the streets in Malian capital Bamako this week amid wrangling over how to end its military junta

Demonstrators backing the army took to the streets in Malian capital Bamako this week amid wrangling over how to end its military junta

In the statement titled "Osinbajo departs Abuja for Accra to attend ECOWAS extraordinary summit on Mali", Akande said Osinbajo would also be meeting the Nigerians "to discuss issues bothering on their wellbeing in the West African country".

Junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita, who was appointed interim head of state, was attending the talks on his first trip overseas since his seizure of power.

"We need a civilian leadership of the transition and we have also made it clear that the minute that leadership input is in place. the sanctions. would be lifted", he said. The sanctions include border closures and the suspension of financial flows, though these were eased so they did not hit civilians.

The military junta over the weekend backed an arrangement for an 18-month transition government in which the junta would be given the leading role in choosing the interim president.

"A delegation from the junta went to Accra to negotiate and discuss the fate of Mali without involving the M5-RFP ( the 5 June Movement - Rally of Patriotic Forces opposition coalition)", said Dr Choguel Kokala Maiga, President of the M5-RFP strategic committee.

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Mali President Ibrahim Boubakar Keita resigned 19 August 2020 after a coup by the military on 18 August 2020 with the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) steering the process towards a transitional government.

The communique said that consultations about the transition - which culminated in a document published on Saturday after a three-day forum - were marked by "intimidation (and) anti-democratic and unfair practices" and "the desire to monopolise and confiscate power to the benefit of (the junta)".

Regional presidents met junta leaders on Tuesday in Ghana in an attempt to quicken the transition.

Last month's coup - Mali's fourth since gaining independence from France in 1960 - came after months of protests stoked in part by Keita's failure to quell a jihadist insurgency that has plagued the country since 2012.

Moussa Traore, who led Mali from 1968 until he was ousted in a coup in 1991, died at his home aged 83 in the capital Bamako on Tuesday (Sept 15), his family said.

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