Tag Archives: Assimi Goita

Mali on brink of conflict

Brussels 17.09.2020 Mali military commanders officially confirm that they are supporting a plan of the country led by a military man, without a further precision on the candidacy. However one can presume that traditionally this role can be attributed to the leader of the coup d’Ă©tat on August 18, Colonel Assimi Goita (pictured).

Following the ECOWAS urgent meeting in Accra, the West African organisation, representing 15 countries, threatened Mali officers with a “total embargo” if power is not quickly handed over to a civilian transitional president and prime minister. In response the spokesperson has underlined that the option of a military-president remains open.

Reportedly this week Mali officers began the process of appointing these officials called to lead Mali during a transition that will bring civilians back to power, Colonel Ismaël Wagué, spokesperson for the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, told reporters.

“It keeps its options open as to the appointment of military figures, as it would like, or civilians, as ECOWAS demands, he added. “All options are on the table,” Colonel WaguĂ© underlined.

Mali opposition demands power immediately

Mali’s military coup leaders must hand over power to a civilian transitional government immediately, the chairman of the West African regional bloc said on September 15, as a deadline expired for the ruling junta to appoint interim leaders. (Image above: social media).

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed economic sanctions after the August 18 coup d’Ă©tat overthrowing the unpopular President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, and said a new president should be appointed by August 15.

However the officers have concluded the charter that says the interim President of Mali can be a military or a civilian and has not yet indicated when the new government would be named, which should work towards organising free and fair elections in the period of 18 months.

“That country can no longer afford any delay in putting a responsible government in place,” the ECOWAS chairman said.

The leaders, representing 15 West African states did not inform about the consequences of failing to meet the deadline. The existing sanctions include border closures and the suspension of financial transations.

The Charter approved at multi-party talks in Mali also calls for an 18-month transition, but at present extraordinary reunion in Ghana ECOWAS leaders said that new elections should be held within a year.

The same day Malian media announced news of death of former President Gal Moussa Traoré, 84, who led Mali beween 1968-1991. Late Mr.Traoré was an army general.

ECOWAS-Mali reunion in Ghana

President Nana Akufo-Addo, Chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will hold an urgent meeting on deepening Mali political crisis, involving key stakeholders on September 15, Tuesday.

The extraordinary meeting is expected to re-establsih dialogue on ways of an effective returning Mali to constitutional rule

The meeting is an integral part of the mediation efforts to prevent further deterioration of the Malian political crisis
The meeting will bring together delegation from nine African countries including, representatives of Mali military rules, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and relevant public figures who encouraged the demonstrations prior to the coup d’etat on August 18, 2020, that ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s government.

The opposition coalition M5-RFP which led mass protests in Mali ahead of last month’s coup has rejected the transition Charter agreed with ECOWAS to establish an 18-month interim government until the free and fair elections could take place.

The announcement followed three days of the intense talks with opposition and civil society groups.

The M5-RFP group, lacking confidence in officers intentions, said the Charter was an attempt by military leaders to “grab and confiscate power.”

“It concerns in particular the profile of the president of the transition who must be a civilian and non-military personality, since this would subject us to the sanctions of the international community, hence ECOWAS, and the terms and conditions for the appointment of this president. And we have heard that it would be by a panel whereas this aspect was never debated in the plenary.” Ibrahim Ikassa MaĂŻga, one of the leaders of the June 5 Movement explained.

Concerning the meeting is planned on in Accra between ECOWAS and Mali, it is not clear at this point in time if the leader of the military coup d’etat Assimi Goita will take risks to leave Bamako.

Regional powers worried that political instability will undermine a years-long fight against Islamists groups in Sahel, have pushed for a swift transition back to civilian rule.

ECOWAS has warned the military government must designate a civilian leader to head a one-year transition period by September 15 or else the country could face further sanctions, however the initial demands have changed, and there was an understanding that the interim President could be a military as well.

Mali: adoption of transition Charter

Mali’s ruling officers have focused on political Charter which they have adopted today. The document could serve as a roadmap for transition to the civilian rule in the next one and a half year. The key element has been an appointment of an army representative as interim head of state to ensure the transition period in cooperation with the coalition that led anti-government protests before last month’s coup.

The charter ratified by participants in the talks with the ECOWAS states confirmed that the interim President can be a civilian or a soldier and will preside over a transitional period of 18 months before elections are held, said Moussa Camara, the spokesman for the talks.

The interim president will be selected among the army officers, Camara said in remarks at the end of three days of negotiations.

The M5-RFP coalition that led protests against unpopular President Ibrahim Boubcar Keita before the August 18 is eager to lead the transition, subsequently they have rejected the Charter, leaving the power in hand of the army.

Initially, the ECOWAS representing Mali’s West African neighbours, has failed to re-introduce President Keita, but they continued to insist on a transition of no more than one year led by the civilians.

However the new of the rejection of the Charter by the opposition, drags the country in further instability, and turmoil.

Mali crisis: EU fully supports ECOWAS

‘The EU is following closely the national consultations in Bamako, and in the region. These consulations should be inclusive to reflect the aspirations of the Malian people, and they should come to the conclusion as soon as possible, leading to a rapid transition of power led by the civilians. The EU fully supports the ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] heads of states demands of the transition led by a civilian President and a civilian Prime Minister to ensure the return to the Consitutional order within the period of one year», the European External Action Service spokesperson said, while reacting upon the political crisis in Mali, and the ultimatum of the ECOWAS, demanding from the military commanders to appoint a civilian head of state on September 15 the latest.

Mali’s military commanders have begun talks with opposition groups on its promised transition to civilian rule after mounting pressure in recent weeks to transfer power.

The officers, who overthrew unpopular President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in a coup d’état in August, pledged to step down after an undefined transition period, but the this vague perspective caused concerns of the neighbours and former colonial ruler France, demanding a swift transfer of power to civilian rule, fearing Mali could serve as a negative model for the other states in the region.

The 15-nation regional bloc ECOWAS had imposed sanctions and closed borders to Mali as part of efforts to press the military, led by Colonel Assimi Goita, 37, who is the head of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) into handing over power swiftly, and without further delay.

Influential imam Mahmoud Dicko, a key figure in the mass opposition protests that led to President Keita’s downfall, has insisted that the military government does not have “carte blanche”.

ECOWAS is calling for a swift return to civilian rule and a vote within a year, a timeline the officers united in the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), has yet not committed to.

ECOWAS Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, said both the President and the Prime minister shoud be appointed by September 15 the latest.

Some Malian political leaders have insisted, along with the ECOWAS, that the interim president is a civilian, but the according to different sources the recommendation of experts said these persons can be a military or a civilian.

The candidate must be not younger than 35, but not older than 75 and would not be eligible to stand for election at the end of the transition period, the quoted expert document said.

Ghana will host a mini-summit of ECOWAS leaders next Tuesday, September 15, a spokesperson for Ghana’s Foreign ministry said. At present there is no information about the steps and measures to be undertaken if the Malian officers refuse to comply with the ECOWAS demands.

Mali Imam supports ECOWAS demands

On September 9 the influential Mali cleric Imam Mahmoud Dicko urged the military commanders led by Colonel Assimi Goita to comply with demands from West African leaders (ECOWAS) to name a civilian interim transition President and Prime minister by September 15 to ease sanctions imposed after last month’s coup.

“If the international community, including ECOWAS, now thinks that the presidency of this transition should be given to civilians, let’s give it to civilians,” Dicko said, ruling himself out of the running.

“Mali is full of executives, men of integrity, let’s find this rare bird.”

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resigned and dissolved Parliament last month after imperative demands of the officers. The military coup d’Ă©tat was welcomed by Malians, accusing the the government of endemic corruption, mounting to 40% of state funds.

Opposition groups also voiced enthusiastic support for the coup, but the sympathy has faded away last week when the opposition coalition, of which Dicko is a senior figure, sharply criticised the officers led by the Colonel Assimi Goita after they discovered that he was not invited to preliminary consultations about the transition.

International powers say that they fear the political uncertainty in Bamako could undermine the fight across West Africa’s Sahel region against Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State.

On September 5 the officers led by Assimi Goita began talks with Mali’s political parties and civil society groups over a transition to civilian rule. The move was welcomed by the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), but they did not lift the sanctions.

Dicko, a Salafist preacher who earlier this year electrified protesters during anti-government demonstrations, told the state broadcaster late on September 9 that Mali needed assistance and that it had nothing to gain by going behind the back of the international community.

New consultations are scheduled for Thursday, September 10 in the country. Discussions will focus on the distribution of posts between civilians and military, the duration of the transition and many other topics covering the transition period. Civil society, armed groups, political parties, unions and others are invited to the consultation. Probably the last round because Colonel Goita must make its decision before September 15, the date of the ECOWAS ultimatum.

This consultation will take place in Bamako, and is open to a broad spectrum of players. The documents provided by the committee of experts will help develop the debates. The military could withdraw from power, if there is a good guarantee, according to sources. Absent during the first consultations, the head of the officers in coma to Colonel Goita could take part in the work from September 10, claiming openness with regard to the transition.