By John Okeke
President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and ECOWAS Parliament Speaker, Sidie Tunis have condemned the recent military coup in Mali.
Ghana President also called for the immediate need to convene a meeting of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of States and governments.
Akufo-Addo is also the Chair of the Authority made ECOWAS Heads of States and governments.
The duo spoke in Abuja Thursday during the opening of the 2021 First Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament.
According to Akufo-Addo , ECOWAS has spent a lot of political and material resources in restoring democracy to Mali after the last junta in 2020, hence the need for decisive actions by ECOWAS Presidents on Mali.
He however noted that as Chair of the Authority, he already sent a high-level mediation team led by former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan to look into the crises but was yet to receive reports on the situation.
“We condemn the unfortunate situation of Mali which ECOWAS has invested so much of its political and material resources.
“As current Chair of the Authority I authorized an ECOWAS delegation comprising of high level mediator in the Malian crises, former President of the Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan.
“Ghanaian Foreign Minister, Shirley Botchway who is also Chair of the ECOWAS Council of Minister, Chair of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Brou to access the situation and report back to me.
“Due to the rains that have affected weather conditions for travels, I am yet to receive first hand report on the situation.
“My take is that we should call on the immediate Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments which is responsible for ironing out the transitional arrangement to decide on the way forward for ECOWAS and Mali.
“The Community will be kept fully abreast on development on the situation”, Akufo-Addo said.
Hon. Sidie Tunis, Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament said that the Parliament also strongly condemned the military takeover in Mali, stating that the recurring junta in the country was a threat to democracy in the region.
Tunis said that the Parliament like other ECOWAS Institutions have taken several steps to restore democratic rule in Mali.
“Earlier this year, I led a Parliamentary Fact-Finding Mission to that Country and held discussions with all Stake Holders in the transition process.
“We were assured by all parties of their commitment towards a transition to democratic rule.
“Unfortunately we have observed a few days ago, a dramatic shift in the political situation, which led to the arrest of the Transitional President, His Excellency Bah N’Daw and the Prime Minister, Mr. Moctar Ouane.”
“The ECOWAS Parliament condemns, in the strongest terms, the military takeover in Mali and all acts in the region that threatens or stalls the process of entrenching Democracy across our States.”
“We have made many efforts in securing a peaceful and stable ECOWAS and it is about time we take firm and decisive actions against forces that tend to reverse this trend.
“The ECOWAS Parliament stands ready to support all efforts aimed at putting Mali on the right trajectory of peace and democracy.”
Also speaking, Brou said that ECOWAS has engaged the current authorities in Mali for the immediate release of the former Interim President and former Interim Prime Minister.
Brou said that the mediation team would brief the Chair of the Authority on their findings and the ECOWAS Community would be kept abreast of all interventions.
It could be recalled that on May 25, the second time in nine months, Col. Assimi Goita seized power again in Mali, detaining transitional President, Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane.
Goita had accused the interim President and Prime Minister of failing in their duties.