ECOWAS mediator for Mali, Goodluck Jonathan, arrives in Bamako

The mediator of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for Mali, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, at the head of a high-level delegation, arrived in Bamako on Monday afternoon, official sources told PANA.

The two-day visit is a follow-up on the Conference of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on Mali held in the Nigerien capital, Niamey, months ago.

According to the programme of the visit, the delegation will hold talks with the Malian transitional authorities, as well as with politicians and civil society before meeting with the press.

Jonathan will meet with Malian Prime Minister Moctar Ouane.

The ECOWAS mission is also expected to deal with other thorny issues of the life of the nation with the transitional authorities, particularly the holding of the future general elections, institutional and constitutional reforms.

The mission comes several months after the president and the vice-president of the transition were sworn in, as well as after the establishment of the transitional organs.

It is also being made within a socio-political context strongly affected by the establishment of the National Transitional Council (NTC), harshly criticized by several political actors, especially over the thorny issue of an “alleged attempt of destabilization of the transition” involving former Prime Minister Boubou Cissé and several other senior officials of the country, including five placed under detention since late December 2020.

In addition to Jonathan, the ECOWAS delegation also includes Ghanaian minister of foreign affairs, Mrs Ayorkor Botchway, and the chairman of the ECOWAS Commission, Ivorian Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.

ECOWAS took strong measures against Mali following the coup d’état against President Boubacar Kéita on 18 August, 2020.

Those measures, among others, included the closing of borders of ECOWAS member-states with Mali, and the suspension of the country from all ECOWAS activities. The sanctions were lifted after the military junta appointed a transitional president, retired general Bah Ndaw, and a civilian prime minister, Moctar Ouane.

ECOWAS had demanded that the military rulers appoint a retired military or civilian transitional president and a civilian prime minister. (NAN)

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