ECOWAS LEADERS AGREE NEW MEASURES TO RESTORE PEACE TO GUINEA BISSAU, MALI ECOWAS leaders have threatened to reinstate targeted sanctions against those
who disrupt the process for the election of a new president in Mali to replace
President Amadou Toumani Toure who was deposed in a military coup on 22nd
March 2012. The warning came against the backdrop of the clashes in Bamako
between elements of the country's armed forces which erupted on 30th April
Comprehensive sanctions against the country, including targeted sanctions
against members of the military junta that deposed the former president and
their associates, were lifted after they agreed to hand over power to the
former speaker of the parliament as interim president until the election of a
new president based on a 12-month transition programme.
At the end of an extraordinary summit on 3rd May 2012 in Dakar, the leaders
strongly condemned the recent clashes which traumatized the population of the
capital still reeling from the aftershock of the coup and appealed for the
immediate cessation of hostilities so that the military can unite in the
defence of the country's territorial integrity following the separatist
campaign in the north of the country.
They also urged the country's transition authority to expedite the preparation
of a road map detailing the timeframe for various activities, including the
framework for consultation on various issues that will culminate in the
election of the president and the restoration of full constitutional rule.
Regional leaders renewed the call on the country's armed forces to concentrate
on their responsibility to protect Mali's territorial integrity and the
population. In this regard, they requested the mediator in the crisis to
review the role of the CNRDRE, the military junta that deposed the former
president, in the transition in line with the framework agreement signed with
the junta and make appropriate recommendations to the Heads of State and
On the deployment of the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) in the country, they
directed the ECOWAS Commission to prepare the force for immediate
deployment "as soon as the Malian authorities make the relevant request" and
to define the modalities for military cooperation between the Malian army and
the ESF "in view of the deployment."
The summit which also discussed the current developments in Guinea Bissau
following the failure of the foreign ministers of the Contact Group to reach
an agreement with the stakeholders on a 12-month regional plan for the
restoration of democratic rule during their 29th April 2012 meeting in Banjul.
The leaders reiterated their demand for the immediate restoration of
constitutional rule based on their 12-month transition programme to be agreed
with ECOWAS during the 26th April 2012 extraordinary summit in Abidjan.
During the programme, it is expected that critical reforms and arrangements
would take place, including the review of such texts as the constitution and
electoral code, to achieve greater efficiency as well as the reform of the
defence and security sector.
In other to respect the spirit and intent of the country's constitution during
the transition, regional leaders recommended that the National Assembly renew
its bureau in order to elect a new speaker who will serve as interim
The new deputy speaker to be elected will become the speaker of the assembly
while a consensual prime minister with full powers will be designated to lead
an inclusive government that will lead the transition until the election to
replace late President Bacai Sanha who died in January 2012.
The death of the former president compelled the country to hold an election
for his replacement on 18th March 2012 whose inconclusive outcome was disputed
by opposition parties who refused to participate in the run-off and thereby
precipitated the current crisis that resulted in the military takeover of 22nd
Regional leaders directed that the ESF should also be deployed in the country
in line with the new approved mandate to secure the withdrawal of the Angolan
Technical Assistance Group; ensure the security of the transition and assist
in the implementation of the programme for the defence and security sector