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Buhari suggests continuous dialogue after Mali peace talk deadlock 

By Idowu Abdullahi,

President Muhammadu Buhari has suggested further consultation as part of measure to bring a lasting solution to the political crisis in the Republic of Mali after opposition continuous protests to unseat embattled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

It would be recalled that tens of thousands of people have poured onto the streets of Bamako in recent weeks amid growing dissatisfaction over alleged electoral malpractice and corruption, arguing that the incumbent president must pave way for new government.

To ensure stability, President Buhari and four other ECOWAS leaders had visited Bamako, Mali, last month, followed by a virtual extraordinary summit of the sub-regional body to find a lasting solution on the crisis.

But receiving a briefing from his immediate predecessor in office, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, at State House, Abuja, on Tuesday, Buhari stressed that persuasions and using all available democratic channels for mediation can guarantee a lasting solution in the country.

On his part,  Jonathan, who is ECOWAS Special Envoy to Mali, briefed on the political situation in the West African country, as a corollary to efforts by West African leaders to restore stability to the country.

The former president, who was in Mali from Monday to Thursday, last week, recounted his meetings with the stakeholders, including political and religious leaders, Ambassadors of US, France, Russia, Germany, European Union, and other important personalities key to peace and cohesion in the country.

The main opposition group, M5, he said, continued to insist on the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, a position not acceptable to ECOWAS, which insisted only on democratic process in change of power within its jurisdiction.

“We told them that no international organization, including the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), and others, would agree with their position. We continued to emphasize the need for dialogue,” Jonathan was quoted as saying in a statement released by Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina.

He added that the constitutional court had been reconstituted and inaugurated, while vacancies in the supreme court had been filled, thus sorting out the judicial arm of government.

President Buhari thanked Dr Jonathan for what he called “the stamina you have displayed” on the Mali issue and counseled further consultations with the Chairman of ECOWAS, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic.

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