The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has advised the military in Mali to return to civilian rule in the coming days.
The chairman, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, stated that the meeting with Mali’s new military junta headed by Col. Assimi Goita was progressive.
Col. Assimi Goita was reported to have left the shores of Ghana for Bamako after he disagreed with ECOWAS leaders over a handover by close of September 15.
But President Akufo-Addo after a closed-door meeting told journalists that the military leader had agreed that upon his arrival in Mali, he would engage the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) further as part of measures to implement the commitments agreed to at the ECOWAS meeting.
“I am hoping that by the time he [Col. Goita] gets there, these things [will] have been completed so that the sanctions will be lifted. We’re talking, hopefully in days, not in weeks,” he said.
Akufo-Addo further said that Col. Assimi Goita “participated in the discussion but we insisted that he goes back and do the consultation with those who are responsible for the decisions and get their buy-in”.
The West Africa Heads of State/ Heads of Government also cautioned further sanctions if the military leaders failed to observe the conclusions reached at the meeting.
These sanctions, ECOWAS noted, will range from the closure of Member States’ borders to Mali, restriction of financial inflows and sidelining from decisions concerning the Member States.
This development follows calls on ECOWAS to ensure former president Keïta’s reinstatement.
The West African Heads of State are in Ghana to deliberate on possible solutions to the political crisis in Mali following a coup that ousted President Bubakar Keïta in August.