President Akufo-Addo welcoming head of the junta at Peduase Lodge
Leadership of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has started talks to decide the direction of one of their members — Mali.
The talks follow a military takeover in Mali that saw the forced resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in the Malian capital, Bamako, on August 18, 2020.
Before going into a closed-door emergency consultative meeting on the political situation in Mali at Ghana’s presidential retreat in the Eastern Region, Peduase Lodge, the newly elected Chairman of ECOWAS, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said, “My reason for this meeting is simple; we need to bring finality to our deliberations on Mali.”
His reason was that “the terrorists have taken advantage of the situation in Mali to flex their muscles even more.”
Even though today is supposed to be the day the military junta in Mali was to put in place a government which should respond to the criteria set out at the last ECOWAS summit on August 28, 2020, President Akufo-Addo decried the fact that that had not been done.
But the ECOWAS Chair said, “The circumstances of life in Mali today require that closure be brought to the matter now.”
“It is my belief that a face-to-face meeting between us, representing the ECOWAS community and the military leaders in Bamako, can provide us with the best opportunity to find a firm resolution,” he added.
Present were leaders of eight out of the 15-member states of the ECOWAS including Togolese President, Faure Gnassingbe; Senegalese President Macky Sall, Burkinabe President Roch Mark Kabore, Nigeria’s Vice-President, Yemi Osibanjo, Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, Guinean President Alpha Conde, and Ivorian President Allasane Quatarra, including Ghana’s President, Akufo-Addo.
Also present was the President of the ECOWAS, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, and the ECOWAS appointed Mediator in the Malian crisis and former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan.
That was before the arrival of leaders of the military junta in Mali led by Colonel Asimi Goita (who prides himself as president of National Committee for the Salvation of the People) and his delegation amid tight security.
He took the opportunity to thank leaders of the military junta for their decision to allow former President Boubacar Keita to leave the country to seek medical attention in the Gulf region whilst wishing their former colleague well, a speedy recovery and God’s blessings.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Peduase Lodge