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Mali Crisis: Opposition Rejects ECOWAS Mediation Efforts

The opposition has rejected proposals by ECOWAS mediators to end the crisis in Mali with protesters demanding President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to step down.

The mediation mission led by Nigeria’s former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, recommended the setting up of a Transitional Government and recomposition of the Consitutional Court before July 31.

“(ECOWAS) came to support Keita and threaten the M5-RFP. All they want is their vision, Keita’s vision, but not ours,” said coalition spokesman Nouhoum Togo.

The ECOWAS delegation also recommended a new government that would include civil society and the opposition.

The organisation proposed that of the six-member Constitutional Court, three should be recommended by the president and the remaining three by the National Judicial Council.

But the opposition Coalition, M5-RFP, which has led the protests in the country, dismissed the recommendations on Sunday, July 19, insisting on the dissolution of the parliament and resignation of the president.

Security of Nigeria at Risk – Obasanjo

Nigeria’s former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, warned that the Mali Crisis would destabilise the security of West African countries.

In an article, the statesman said the situation was totally different from other crises in Mali due to the support the protesters were getting from Malians.

“The current political turmoil in Mali is of grave concern considering the multidimensional impact of an escalation of the political impasse on about 19 million citizens and what a destabilised Mali will mean to West Africa,” he said.

“The consequences will reverberate across the whole West Africa region, with the safety and security of Senegal, Burkina Faso and Niger directly at risk.

“If those countries stumble, the effects will ripple across coastal states such as Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Guinea. It will reverberate even to Nigeria.

“Mali is the levee that if breached, will create a wave of insecurity throughout Africa’s western region.”

Uncertainty Remains

As the ECOWAS delegation failed to convince the opposition to accept the proposal, the air of uncertainty remains as protesters vow to continue pressuring Keita to resign.

The crisis has already taken the life of no fewer than 20 people in the protests as the coalition said. The government , however, put the toll at 11 with many wounded.

As the opposition rejected the ECOWAS recommendations, the government is yet to say a word.


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