Mali’s governing body given one week to put in place demands of ECOWAS

Mali’s National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), the country’s current governing body set up by mutinous soldiers, had been given one week to meet the  demands of ECOWAS to avoid a total embargo, said CNSP’s spokesperson on Thursday.

“The CNSP has been given a week to comply with their (ECOWAS) demands before the sanctions placed on the country can be lifted,’’ Ismael Wague said during a news conference on ECOWAS’ mini-summit held in Accra, capital of Ghana.

Wague added that ECOWAS threatened to impose a total embargo if their demands are not met, which includes a civil political transition in the nation.

“We told the ECOWAS clearly that we are at the service of the people. Since the majority spoke of a military transition, we suggested that we could go in that direction. They refused,’’ he said.

CNSP’s President Assimi Goita went to Accra on Tuesday with a delegation to explain to ECOWAS heads of state and government the conclusions of the national consultations held  Sept. 10 to 12, and to discuss the lifting of sanctions on Mali.

Wague said that the two sides did not reach  any agreement regarding the issue of power transition in Mali.

“There was no agreement on the transition in Accra. It was not our mission. We went to share with them (the ECOWAS) the results of the consultations, but not to go and sign an agreement.

“We told  ECOWAS that we could not decide right away and that we will come back and discuss in accordance with what is in the Transition Charter,’’ he said.

According to the Transition Charter, which was adopted by some 500 participants from different forces of the nation after three days of the consultations, the eventual transitional president will be either a military or a civilian, appointed by a commission set up by the CNSP.

But in the final communiqué of the mini-summit,  ECOWAS demanded that  the political transition be headed by a civilian, and the CNSP be immediately dissolved once the civil transition takes place.

“The trip to Accra is not necessarily a failure, since Goita was expressly invited by president of Ghana.

“It is a form of recognition,’’ Wague said.

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