Resignation of 31 Parliamentarians whose elections’re contested
Release of abducted opposition leader
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru – Abuja
The ECOWAS, Authority of Heads of State and Government on Monday rejected the call for the resignation of the Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, by the opposition group in the country.
The ECOWAS leaders also called for the resignation of the 31 members of the Parliament, whose election was in contention and the release of the opposition leader, Honourable Soumaila Cisse who was abducted since March 25, 2020.
The ECOWAS Heads of State and Government further requested the commission to consider sanctions against all those that would act contrary to the normalization process of the crisis.
These among others were parts of the resolutions of at the Extraordinary virtual Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on the socio-economic, political, and security crisis in Mali.
The summit examined the current socio-political situation in Mali, characterized by demonstrations initiated in early June 2020 by a group called the June 5 Movement Group of Patriotic Forces, M5-RFP, which includes political parties, civil society organisations, and various religious associations.
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This socio-political situation is taking place in a difficult context for Mali, characterised by a serious security threat with recurring terrorist attacks, inter-community tensions in the Central part of the country, a social tension marked by a long strike of school teachers, a health crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and financial consequences.
In a resolution after the Extraordinary virtual summit chaired by the Mahamadou Issoufou, the ECOWAS leaders reiterated their call to all Malian stakeholders to avoid violence and resort to dialogue for the resolution of the dispute in a context marked by the multidimensional difficulties that Mali is facing.
They congratulated the Mediator and the ECOWAS Commission for the Work done and expressed their support to all proposals put forth by the Mediation and included in the Roadmap.
Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the summit, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, said the Heads of State and Government in their resolution “insisted on the importance and the need to respect the Institutions of the Republic, especially the Constitutional means of ascending to power in conformity with the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
“The Heads of State and Government noted that the main Malian Institutions are inoperative. It is therefore paramount to re-establish as quickly as possible, these sovereign Institutions necessary for the proper functioning of the State and the management of all issues raised by demonstrators.
“The Head of States and Government, therefore, took the following decisions
- The Parliament: The Heads of State and Government ask all political parties to endeavour to obtain the immediate resignation of all the 31 Members of Parliament whose election is contested.
“This resignation will pave the way for by-elections. Pending these by-elections, the Parliament will operate with the 116 remaining Members.
“The Constitutional Court the Heads of State and Government ask all the relevant Institutions to facilitate its immediate recomposition according to legal provisions in Mali.
“The Parliament will propose its representatives after the resignation of the 31 members whose election is contested and the installation of the new bureau.
“In case of difficulty for the various bodies in designating their members to the Constitutional Court, the President of the Republic will use the exceptional power provided by Article 50 of the Constitution of Mali to nominate the 9 members.
“The Executive Branch: A National Unity Government will be established rapidly in line with the recommendations of the Mediator. The Heads of States and Government encourage the opposition, in particular, the M5-RFP, to participate in this National Unity Government.
“The main task of this National Unity Government will be to deal with the consequences of the demonstrations and to implement all reforms and recommendations issued from the Inclusive National Dialogue and to improve governance.
“In particular the implementation of the Algiers Agreements will need to be accelerated. Given the numerous challenges facing the country, Some members of the Government will be nominated before the National Unity Government is formed. These are the ministries in charge of Defense, Justice, Foreign Affairs, National Security, and Finance.
“The Heads of State and Government ask the relevant authorities to conduct quickly those inquiries to determine and identify those responsible for the violence that led to deaths and casualties as well as public and private property destruction on July 10, 11, and 12 2020.
“Finally, the Heads of State and Government: Reiterate their solidarity with the Honourable Soumaila CISSE,
Leader of the Opposition abducted since March 25” 2020. They insist on the Malian Authorities to intensify efforts for his release.
“Ask the ECOWAS Commission to put in place a Monitoring Committee for the implementation of all the above measures. This Committee will include representatives from Government, Parliament, the Judiciary, Civil Society, M5-RFP, women, the youth, with the participation of the local Representative of the African Union, the United Nation and chaired by ECOWAS.
“Ask all stakeholders to implement all the above decisions and measures within 10 days. The ECOWAS Heads of State and Government request the commission to consider sanctions against all those who act contrary to the normalization process of the crisis.”
The summit noted that the current crisis is quite similar to the 2012 one when violent demonstrations led to a military coup on March 22, 2012. It is useful to recall that this 2012 military coup plunged the Republic of Mali into uncertainty and favoured the expansion of terrorist jihadist groups in the country.
It said, “In order to avoid the repetition of this situation, an ECOWAS Ministerial Mission was deployed to Bamako from June 18 to 20th by the Chairperson of ECOWAS to help resolve the crisis. The Ministerial Mission established the diagnostic of the crisis and proposed solutions along with some recommendations.
“Unfortunately these recommendations were not implemented and demonstrations continued. They were particularly violent on July 10th, 11th, and 12th and led to numerous deaths, and casualties, with public and private property destructions.
“With the deterioration of the situation, ECOWAS appointed H.E. DR. GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, GCFR, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as a Special Envoy to lead a Mediation mission to reduce tension.
“The Mediator conducted a mission to Bamako from July 15th to 19th 2020 and after meeting all stakeholders, formulated a Roadmap for a way out of the crisis.
“This roadmap was accepted by most stakeholders with the exception of the Strategic Committee of M5-RFP which maintained its demands, namely:
The resignation of the President of the Republic of Mali;
“The establishment of a transitional regime; The establishment of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the deaths on July 10th, 11th, and 12th, and the release of the Honourable Soumaïla Cissé, head of the Parliamentarian Opposition, abducted during the legislative elections.
“The M5-RFP has also announced that they will resume demonstrations.”
To curb the spiral of violence and reach a lasting solution, a Mission of five (5) Heads of State went to Bamako on Thursday 23rd July 2020.
Those on the mission were Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger, current Chairperson of ECOWAS Authority; Nana Akufo Addo, President of Ghana; Alassane Ouattara, President of Cote d’lvoire, Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria; Macky Sall, President of Senegal.
In his remarks at the Extraordinary virtual summit, Nigeria’s President, Buhari expressed condolence to president Quatara for the demise of his prime minister, and to the president of Senegal for the loss of another colleague.
President Buhari recalled that last March, parliamentary elections took place in Mali, regrettably, results of 36 seats arising from those elections provoked the state of unrest and protests that became violent with tragic consequences in July 2020.
According to him, “We are still living and contending with the negative fallouts from those incidents.
“Our organisation, the ECOWAS, using its instrumentalities of peaceful resolution of the crisis and in the context of our protocol of democracy and good governance, embarked upon series of efforts to address this crisis at the level of ministerial committees, Special Envoy and Mediator and to a select-group of Heads of State and Government and now the Authority of Heads of State and Government at this Extraordinary session today.
“I wish to place on record, my commendations to the various layers of efforts and especially of former President Goodluck Jonathan, whose pain-staking engagements as special envoy and mediator provided clear road-map to maintain the crisis in Mali.
“I appeal, therefore, to all the Malian stakeholders to consider the proposals for the reform of the constitutional court and the establish modalities for resolving the continuous 31 seat issue at the National Assembly.
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“Equally significant, is the need to address governance challenges, whose manifestations are at the core of restiveness across the country. In order to address these matters holistically, it is important that all Malians embrace the call for a government of national unity where exclusivity of participation in the affairs of governing their country will be a responsibility of each and every Mali sector.
“I wish to reiterate the imperative of compromise and concessions for a peaceful resolution of the current crisis, which will be acceptable to all parties.
“It is necessary that we realise the general fragility of our sub-region hedged in different layers of negative tendencies in the Sahel, hence the need to always for us to trade cautiously in handling the multiple challenges confronting our sub-region, especially the larger level of insecurity, which terrorism and insurgency activities represent in west Africa.
“Finally, while thanking our development partners, the European Union, France, African Union, and the United Nations, I call on them to continue to support efforts for national, regional security of West Africa.”
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