ECOWAS Direct Mali Coup Leaders to Appoint a Civilian President Immediately

It’s almost a month since the coup det’at that saw to the overthrown of President Ibrahim Keita of Mali, yet the coup leaders are yet to appoint a new leader for the country despite the ECOWAS order.

Speaking in Ghana on Tuesday, the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) who doubles as the president of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, has restated the stand of ECOWAS that the leaders of the Mali Coup det’at must appoint a new civilian president for the country with immediate effect.

The Ghanaian president said this in Accra after the deadline given for the ruling junta to make the appointment lapsed.

The 15-member ECOWAS imposed economic sanctions after the August 18 overthrow of President Ibrahim Keita, and said a new president should be appointed by Tuesday.

But the junta pushed through a charter on Saturday that says the interim president can be a soldier or a civilian and has not yet indicated when the new government would be named.

Regional presidents met junta leaders on Tuesday in Ghana in an attempt to quicken the transition.

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“Today is supposed to be the day that the junta is to put in place a government, which should respond to the criteria we set out in August.

“That has not been met,” said Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo, the acting ECOWAS chair, before the start of talks.

Regional leaders fear the coup could set a dangerous precedent in West Africa and undermine a fight in Mali and neighbouring countries in the Sahel region against militants with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State.

“That country can no longer afford any delay in putting a responsible government in place,” he said.

West African leaders have not said what the consequences would be for failing to meet the deadline.

The existing sanctions include border closures and the suspension of financial flows.

The charter approved at multi-party talks in Mali also calls for an 18-month transition, while ECOWAS had said that fresh elections should be held within a year.

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