On Sunday October 11 in Bamako, the Ghanaian head of state, Nana Akufo-Addo, current president of the Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said he had “Good hope” that the Malian transitional authorities respect their commitments. In the aftermath of the formation of a transitional government on October 5, the regional organization lifted the sanctions imposed on Mali on August 20, two days after the putsch toppled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.
“For the moment, all the actions taken by the transitional authorities give us good hope that they keep the commitments made to us”Mr. Akufo-Addo said in a very brief press conference after his visit. Accompanied in particular by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, mediator in this crisis, and the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, he met the transitional president, retired Colonel Bah Ndaw, and the transitional vice-president and head of the junta, Colonel Assimi Goïta. He also spoke with the transitional prime minister, Moctar Ouane, former foreign minister and career diplomat.
A transition lasting up to eighteen months
The current president of ECOWAS “Urged the transitional authorities to finalize the timetable for the electoral process to arrive at the presidential and parliamentary elections within the indicated deadline”, according to a statement read during the press conference. The colonels who toppled Keita in an officially bloodless putsch have pledged to return power to elected civilian leaders after a transition period of up to eighteen months. “Our country must return to full constitutional legality, with a President of the Republic elected within the prescribed deadlines and if possible before”Ndaw said on Friday, reading his mission letter to the transitional government at the opening of its first cabinet meeting.
The Ghanaian president also met ex-Prime Minister Boubou Cissé, one of eleven civil and military personalities still detained since the coup and whose release Colonel Goïta announced on Wednesday, which was one of the demands of ECOWAS. Another of these demands, the dissolution of the junta, however, has not yet been met and was not officially raised during the visit. ECOWAS lifted its sanctions, including a trade and financial embargo, after having obtained the designation of a civilian president and prime minister of transition and the junta’s renunciation of the possibility for the vice-president, Colonel Goïta , to replace the president in case of impediment. Ouane’s government has 25 ministers, including four colonels in strategic positions: defense, security, territorial administration and national reconciliation.