Political crisis in Mali: ECOWAS calls for an extraordinary summit

The mission of the five West African Heads of State led by the current President of ECOWAS, Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, ended on Thursday evening, without any breakthrough.

Muhammadu Buhari, Mahamadou Issoufou, Alassane Ouattara, Nana Akufo-Addo and Macky Sall failed to get the Malian opposition to accept their plan to get the country out of the crisis.

If the ECOWAS leaders remain optimistic as to finding a compromise, for the opposition, the lines have not changed.

“Nothing has changed yet,” said Imam Mahmoud Dicko, a central figure in the protest that has rocked Mali since June, with a closed face. “If it is really because of this that they met, I think that nothing was done”, he added, after having met in a hotel of the Malian capital the presidents Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Mahamadou Issoufou from Niger, Alassane Ouattara from Côte d’Ivoire, Nana Akufo-Addo from Ghana and Macky Sall from Senegal, who came to support the mediation efforts of the Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

In an open letter addressed to the five presidents and disseminated Thursday evening, the June 5 Movement, a heterogeneous coalition which leads the protest, accuses President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta of failing in his mission, without explicitly calling for his resignation this time. “He left this mission to people who have neither the legitimacy nor the required skills,” says the movement, where tensions have arisen between “hawks” and “doves”.

The ECOWAS leaders, who renewed their support for President Keïta, have called for holding an extraordinary summit of ECOWAS by videoconference next Monday.

“At the end of this summit, I think that ECOWAS will take strong measures to support Mali”, Nigerien president said, stressing that “to remove President IBK while he was democratically elected” remains a “red line” for ECOWAS.

ECOWAS plan, supported by the international community, provides for the rapid appointment of a new Constitutional Court to settle the legislative dispute, as well as the establishment of a government of national unity.

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