Former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan

NB 247 

The Ecowas Mediator for Mali and former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, on Wednesday, briefed the Ecowas Heads of Government on his last Sunday’s mission to the West African Country which has been embroiled in a complex political crisis.

The country’s political crisis began in 2012 when a coup was carried out by soldiers who were disenchanted by a poor response to an insurgency by Tuareg rebels in the north.

Although elections have been held since then, Ibrahim Kaita was elected in 2013 with a mandate to restore peace through dialogue with warring factions. He succeeded in signing peace agreements with some rebel groups, but his actions were largely criticized for non-inclusion of more rebel groups.

Allegations of massive rigging and other kinds of fraud which attended the 2018 elections which saw the reelection of Mr Kaita, further exacerbated the crisis, with calls for his resignation. He was eventually toppled in a military coup in August last year, and an interim governments have reigned since then.

At the moment, Asimi Goita, a Colonel is President of the Transition, while Choguel Maiga is Prime Minister. The interim government is looking to hold fresh elections and restore order in the polity by February next year.

The Mission’s observations were contained in a communique issued at the end of the mission’s visit on Tuesday,  signed by Mr Jonathan and presented to ECOWAS.

In the report, Mr Jonathan noted that the visit was within the framework of the implementation of the recommendations of the  Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of  West African States (ECOWAS) held on 19th June 2021 in Accra, Ghana, where the high level mission was inaugurated for the country.

He said the mission under his leadership visited Mali from September 5-7, 2021.

The purpose of the mission was to review the transition process, particularly the progress made in the preparation for the elections scheduled to be held  by end of February 2022, in accordance with the deadline set by the ECOWAS  Authority of Heads of State and Government at its Extraordinary Session held  on 15th September 2020.

The visit was also aimed at providing ECOWAS support for the effective implementation of the priority actions outlined in the Government’s  action plan. 

“However, the Mission is concerned about the lack of concrete action in the effective preparation of the electoral process,” the report observed. 

“The mission reiterated the necessity of respecting the date announced for the elections in order to ensure the credibility of the process.

“The mission also encouraged the transitional government to urgently develop a chronogram  detailing the reforms and priority actions that need to be undertaken in order  to hold the presidential and legislative elections.

“These actions include  particularly consensus on the legal framework for the elections, the  establishment of the voters’ register, and the identification of the body or  bodies that will conduct the elections. 

“The Mission reiterated its call to the socio-political actors to work together and demonstrate their sense of responsibility during this delicate period of the  transition to ensure the success of the transition process.” 

Mr Jonathan reported that the\ ECOWAS Mission paid a courtesy call on the Mr Goita and held a working session with Mr Maiga, while also holding  consultations with  members of the Local Monitoring Committee and members of the diplomatic  corps accredited to Mali. 

   The mission congratulated the Malian government for the relative calm observed in the country and took note of the lifting of the restriction measures concerning  the former President of the Transition, Bah N’daw and the former Prime  Minister, Moctar Ouane.

The mission called on the multilateral and bilateral partners to support the  transition process, especially the preparatory phase for the elections. 

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