ECOWAS leaders will no longer accept unconstitutional seizure of power – Prof. Osinbajo - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



memfys hospital Enugu

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

ECOWAS leaders will no longer accept unconstitutional seizure of power – Prof. Osinbajo

Mali faces isolation as neighbours cancel flights

Nigeria’s Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN has said that with its latest stand against unconstitutional seizure of power, leaders of member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have shown strong resolve and commitment to issues of good governance and democracy in the sub-region.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Sunday in Accra, Ghana, where he represented President Muhammadu Buhari at an Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government to discuss the political situation in the Republic of Mali.

It would be recalled that ECOWAS at that meeting, agreed to impose additional sanctions on the military junta in Mali, withdraw all ECOWAS Ambassadors in the country, suspend all commercial and financial transactions and also close land and air borders between ECOWAS Member States and Mali.

Addressing journalists after the Summit, Prof. Osinbajo said: “what is being done is unprecedented. In the years gone by, the African Union, then known as OAU and ECOWAS, never came down heavily on Coups de’tats; but there is evidence now that there is a very strong resolve that ECOWAS and, indeed, AU and the international community will not accept unconstitutional takeover of government.”

Continuing, Prof. Osinbajo said, “it’s very evident that there is very strong resolve, which is why we are here today. We expect that the actions that will be taken will point the junta in Mali in the right direction.”

“I think ECOWAS has shown that it has not lost its bite where there are concerns about issues of good governance and democratic enterprises in the sub-region, which is why sanctions against Guinea and Mali were imposed.”

A Communique issued at the end of the meeting stated that, “The Authority regrets the absence of chronogram for the election and the non-setting up of the National Council of Transition (CNT). It also directs that a mission be fielded to Conakry to discuss the transition.”

Meanwhile, airlines from neighbouring countries and former colonial ruler France cancelled flights to Mali on Monday, helping isolate the military junta under regional sanctions for trying to extend its hold on power.

Neighbours also said they would close road and air borders. Ivory Coast’s national carrier Air Cote d’Ivoire halted flights to the Malian capital Bamako on Monday. Flights from Senegal were also disrupted, according to a Reuters reporter trying to enter Mali.

Air France had also cancelled flights, an airline spokesperson said, because of security risks, without providing further detail. The head of Mali’s airports, Lassina Togola, said in a statement that Air France flights on Monday were cancelled but not suspended long term.

Assimi Goita, Mali’s current leader and one of several colonels who overthrew President Boubacar Ibrahim Keita in August 2020, called for calm in a statement on Monday, adding that Mali had the means to withstand the latest sanctions.

Goita, who staged a second coup in May 2021 when he pushed aside the interim president to take the job for himself, said that his government remains open to further negotiations with the regional bloc.

However, Guinea’s transitional authorities said on Monday that they were not associated with ECOWAS’s decision to sanction Mali, and that their shared border will remain open. The bloc suspended Guinea’s membership in September after its own military coup.

ECOWAS hopes that the renewed economic pressure, including cutting Mali off from regional financial markets and trade of non-essential goods, will push Bamako to rethink the latest proposal to delay presidential and legislative elections to December 2025 – nearly four years after they were supposed to be held.

The Malian government has promised it will try to ensure a normal supply of goods to the public, but sanctions are likely to further hobble the economy in one of the world’s poorest countries where an Islamist insurgency rages, fuelled in part by widespread poverty.

Barrick Gold, which owns Mali’s biggest gold mine complex Loulo-Gounkoto, said on Monday its mines in the country have “thus far not been affected” by the ECOWAS sanctions.

Gold miners Hummingbird Resources and Cora, which also have operations in Mali, said they were monitoring the situation in the wake of the sanctions decision.

Mali’s political upheaval has deepened tensions with France, which has thousands of soldiers deployed across West Africa’s Sahel region to battle the insurgents.

For now, some residents in Bamako shrugged off the sanctions, saying they supported the government’s strategy. “We cannot be independent without suffering, we have to accept suffering,” said electronics store owner Aboubacar Yalcouye.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Disclaimer: Comment expressed do not reflect the opinion of African Parliamentary News