Shocked by their inability to checkmate the escalating crisis in Mali, West African leaders will hold a virtual extraordinary summit on Monday to propose decisive measures to end the deepening political crisis in country.
The five heads of state who visited the country late this week failed to make any headway in their 2 days peace mission after meeting with the government and the opposition in the country’s capital city Bamako The presidents held talks all day with various parties to try to end the political stalemate that has rocked the country and raised fears it could undermine a regional fight against Islamist militants. The leaders have since returned to their country.
“We have decided that we will report back to all the heads of state during an extraordinary meeting on Monday July 27,” said Mahamadou Issoufou, Niger’s President and current chair of the 15-member regional ECOWAS bloc.
“ECOWAS will take strong measures that will contribute to the resolutions of the crisis,” Issoufou told journalists after the meetings”.
Infuriated by corruption, disputed local election results and army losses to jihadists, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in recent weeks, sparking clashes with police in which the United Nations says at least 14 protesters have died this month.
The opposition, a group called M5-RFP whose figurehead is Saudi-trained Muslim cleric Mahmoud Dicko, has said it will not quit until President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita steps down, raising concerns in neighbouring countries of a protracted crisis. “There will be no unconstitutional change of power in the ECOWAS region,” Issoufou said.