Mali: All eyes on ECOWAS as emergency session holds



Mali: All eyes on ECOWAS as emergency session holds today


By Tasie Theodore


All eyes are on the Economic Commission of West African States, ECOWAS, as an emergency session convened by the sub-regional grouping to discuss the developing political stand-off in Mali holds today.


The meeting, which is advertised as a Virtual Extraordinary Session is expected to review developments in the country since the escalation of the months-long crisis, which the sub-regional grouping had already been accused by critics of not having responded very seriously to at its inception.


Customarily, the position of ECOWAS in such situations is to suspend the affected nation from its fold and impose an additional slew of sanctions as the situation affords. Some of these have already been announced.


On their part, the reigning military rulers, who are led by Colonel Assimi Goita, have continued to insist that their intervention has only been necessitated by the need to prevent a deepening of the long-running political crisis in the Sahelian state, which even ECOWAS had been involved in negotiating to no avail.


However, with the crisis now entering its third day. feelers are that the Heads of State are now under pressure to ensure that they take an even firmer approach to the crisis.


But even at that, and with Mali having been so fractured for months, and indeed years now, it is doubtful if a hard-line ‘shoot out the boys’ approach would achieve any much good.


A statement from an aide of the President of the sub-region’s largest nation, Nigeria, has affirmed that his principal would be participating in the session.


“There will be a Virtual Extraordinary Session of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government tomorrow, Thursday, August 20; on the situation in Mali. President @MBuhari will be participating,” Bashir Ahmad, media aide to Buhari posted via his Twitter handle.


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