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ECOWAS may lift sanction on Mali during next meeting

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The sanction imposed by Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS) on Mali, after a military administration took over government, could be lifted during the regional organisation’s next meeting scheduled for Friday, August 28.

ECOWAS leaders were said to be considering lifting the sanction after ousted president, Ibrahim Keita, was reported to have appealed to his former colleagues to waive sanction imposed on Mali after the coup that sacked him from office.

The regional organisation imposed the sanction days after a military junta staged a coup, sack Keita, and took over the country’s  leadership.

Possible outcome of the ECOWAS upcoming meeting was revealed on Wednesday when President Muhammadu Buhari and ECOWAS Special Envoy to the West African country, former President, Goodluck Jonathan, meet on phone to discuss gain made by the team deployed after the coup.

Details from the meeting was made known through a statement by Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

At the meeting, Buhari said that the sub-region would take a common position on the issue when the leaders meet next Friday and that an amicable and generally acceptable position that would interested all parties would be reached.

“About two-thirds of Mali is occupied by terrorists, and it makes common sense to secure the country, rather than pursuing individual interests”, he added.

According to him, the priority for any Malian should be to secure the country that was presently largely occupied by terrorists.

Earlier, Jonathan stated that Malian military junta rejected ECOWAS requests and was said to have fixed next presidential election for 2023 when the could would have been stabilised.

The former president disclosed that the military administration led by Colonel Ismael Wague, during a meeting indicated plans to stay in power for three years, before holding elections.

“They call themselves National Committee for the Salvation of the People. We asked them to allow ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to return to his personal residence, where he would be given tight security, but they said he could travel abroad, and not return to answer questions they may have for him’

“We also told them that what would be acceptable to ECOWAS was an Interim Government, headed by a civilian or retired military officer, to last for six or nine months, and maximum of 12 calendar months. The Interim Government would then organize elections to restore full constitutional order”, he added.

Jonathan disclosed that his team was allowed to meet with the ousted President, who confirmed that he resigned voluntarily, adding that he was no longer interested in returning to his former position.

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