The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) suspended Mali from the sub-regional bloc until the restoration of democratic rule in that country, an official said late Sunday.
Addressing the media on behalf of the heads of state after their one-day extraordinary summit in Ghana, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, chair of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, said Mali had been tasked to keep to the transitional timetable and restore the country to democratic rule by next February.
“The heads of state decided to go according to the treaty of democracy and good governance, to suspend Mali from ECOWAS with immediate effect,” said Botchway.
At the same time, she said the leadership of the sub-regional bloc would work with Mali to ensure that the transition remains on track toward the end goal of returning Mali to democratic rule by February 2022.
Botchway, who is also Ghana’s foreign minister, added that another decision of the heads of state was that “within the next few days Mali should appoint a civilian prime minister to guide the transitional process.”
“The leaders are also asking the international community to continue to engage Mali to ensure that they do not derail the transitional process. The coup in Mali is something ECOWAS frowns upon because it has repercussions for the rest of West Africa,” Botchway added.
The one-day extraordinary ECOWAS summit was summoned by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, chairman of the sub-regional bloc, to deliberate and make a decision on the impasse within the Malian transitional government.
In attendance were the presidents of Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Togo, The Gambia, and Niger. Senegal and Benin were represented by their respective foreign ministers.
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the leader of the ECOWAS mediation team to Mali, was also in attendance, to brief the heads of state on the outcome of his fact-finding mission to the Sahelian country. Enditem