ECOWAS’ Chief Ombudsman has been in Bamako since Wednesday, 23 September 2020, for talks aimed at lifting the economic blockade imposed on beleaguered Mali.
This follows last month’s successful coup against the civilian government led by Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK). The talks may be a turning point for Mali.
The country, which celebrated its sixtieth anniversary of independence on Tuesday, 22 September 2020, has been hit by a series of sanctions by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), following the coup which ousted IBK on Tuesday, 18 August 2020.
Since its seizure of power, the junta, known as the National Council for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), has made the lifting of the embargo by the regional grouping its utmost priority. On Thursday, 24 September 2020, Nigeria’s former president, Goodluck Jonathan met with retired Colonel Bah N’daw and Colonel Assimi Goïta, the president and vice-president of the transition respectively.
ECOWAS is yet to formally respond to the appointment of the two political transition figures.
Previously, the regional organization had demanded the appointment of two civilians as president and prime minister of the transition, which was supposed to last 18 months under the Charter adopted after days of national consultation.
The position of prime minister is still to be filled.
In addition, the ECOWAS envoy is interested in the fate of some leaders of the former regime, including former prime minister, Boubou Cisse, who were arrested in the early hours of the putsch.
Jonathan will certainly plead for their release.
The Nigerian statesman, who has been out of the public glare since his arrival in the Malian capital, is expected to break his silence after the swearing in ceremony of the president and vice-president of the transition on Friday, 25 September 2020.