Mali crisis: Discussions continue as Buhari attends virtual ECOWAS extraordinary summit
President Muhammadu Buhari is currently attending the second extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of State and Government over the socio-political situation in Mali.
The summit is being attended by all Presidents in the region alongside the ECOWAS President, Jean Claude Kassi Brou.
Discussions are expected to centre on finding a lasting solution to the political instability in Mali.
The government of President Ibrahim Keita was recently toppled in a bloodless coup earning the country sanctions from ECOWAS.
The military junta in place, National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), requested a 3-year term in office after which they would return the country to civilian rule.
ECOWAS Special Envoy to Mali, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday in Abuja disclosed that Mali junta wants ECOWAS to lift sanctions put in place, as it was already affecting the country.
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Jonathan was quoted as saying “We told them that the authority to do such was only in the hands of ECOWAS heads of state,” Jonathan said.
Dr Jonathan was briefing President Muhammadu Buhari after a 3 day meeting in Mali which ended without a decision on the structure of a transitional government.
The junta leaders said after taking power that they acted because the country was sinking into chaos and insecurity which they said was largely the fault of poor government. They also promised to oversee a transition to elections within a “reasonable” amount of time.
Several talks between the new Junta and ECOWAS for a return to civilian rule ended in deadlocks after a high-level delegation led by former President Goodluck Jonathan to Bamako failed to secure its demand.
Meanwhile, Mali’s military leader hinted on Thursday that former President Ibrahim Keita had been released after he was detained in the August 18 coup.
Physically present at the statehouse in Abuja is the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari; alongside the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; the Minister of Defence Bashir Magashi and the Director-general of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.