During a virtual Extraordinary Session of the leaders of the
sub-regional body, President Muhammadu Buhari appealed to government and
people of Mali to consider recommendations of ECOWAS Special Envoy,
former President Goodluck Jonathan and his team, in resolving the
political crisis, saying a government of national unity will provide
inclusivity and ensure peaceful co-existence.
Present at the virtual extraordinary meeting were the Presidents of
Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Mali, Senegal, Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire,
Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry, Cape Verde, The Gambia, and
Niger Republic, who is the ECOWAS Chairman.
Equally present was Mr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of ECOWAS
The meeting adopted positions to resolve the crisis sparked off by
disputed parliamentary elections held in Mali, which had led to
widespread riots, arson, and killings in the West African country.
Among conclusions by the Heads of State and Government are: formation of
a Government of National Unity to comprise 50% nominees by the
government of the day, headed by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, 30%
by the opposition, and 20% by civil society groups.
It was also agreed that given the numerous challenges facing the
country, some members of Government will be nominated before the
National Unity Government is formed. These are the Ministers in charge
of Defense, Justice, Foreign Affairs, National Security and Finance.
The Malian President was equally mandated to ensure the stepping down of
the 31 parliamentarians who emerged from the disputed polls, while a
by-election will be held as speedily as possible.
Also agreed was that steps should be taken to reconstitute the
Constitutional Court in the country as soon as possible, while a
commission of enquiry would determine and identify those responsible for
the violence that led to deaths and casualties as well as public
properties destroyed on July 10-12, 2020.
Equally resolved was that the government would step up efforts to secure
the release of opposition figure, Soumaila Cisse, kidnapped since March,
The ECOWAS Commission is to put in place a Monitoring Committee for the
implementation of all the above measures.
The Declaration, to be communicated to relevant organs of African Union
(AU) and United Nations (UN), also agreed to support President Keita in
restoring peace and order to Mali, stressing that no anti-constitutional
change of government would be accepted anywhere in West Africa.
In his remarks, President Buhari urged Malian political leaders to
consider the fragile peace in the country and the likely spiralling
effect on the sub-region.
“I wish to place on record, my commendations for the various layers of
efforts, and especially, of former President Goodluck Jonathan, whose
painstaking engagements as Special Envoy and Mediator, provided clear
road-map to contain the crisis in Mali.
“I appeal therefore, to all the Malian stakeholders to consider the
proposals for the reform of the Constitutional Court and the established
modalities for resolving the continuous 31 seats issue at the National
“Equally significant, is the need to address governance challenges,
whose manifestations are at the core of restiveness across the country.
In order to address these matters holistically, it is important that all
Malians embrace the call for a Government of National Unity where
inclusivity of participation in the affairs of governing their country
will be a responsibility of each and every Malian actor.
“I wish to reiterate the imperative of compromise and concessions for a
peaceful resolution of the current crisis which would be acceptable to
The President commended the Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of
State & Government, for convening the Extraordinary Session to discuss
the socio-economic, political and security developments in Mali,
especially, following the outcome of the Parliamentary elections in the
country, last March, 2020.
“Excellencies, dear colleagues and brothers, may I recall that last
March, Parliamentary elections took place in Mali. Regrettably, results
of 31 seats arising from those elections, provoked the spate of unrest
and protests that became violent with tragic consequences in July 2020.
“We are still living and contending with the negative fallout from those
incidents. Our organisation, the ECOWAS, using its instrumentality of
peaceful resolutions of crisis and in the context of our Protocol on
Democracy and Good Governance, embarked upon a series of efforts to
address this crisis, at the levels of Ministerial Committee, Special
Envoy & Mediator and to a select-group of Heads of State and Government
and now, the Authority of Heads of State and Government, at this
Extraordinary Session, today.
President Buhari thanked Development Partners, the EU, France, AU and
the UN, urging them to continue to support efforts for national-regional
security and stability of West Africa.
All ECOWAS leaders at the summit appreciated former Nigerian President,
Goodluck Jonathan, who had been appointed Special Envoy and Mediator in