Mali Crisis: 31 Parliamentarians Asked to Resign As ECOWAS Leaders take Tough Decisions

Nigeria's state minister for international affairs, Zubairu Dada, read the communique.
President Muhammadu Buhari at the 56th Ordinary session of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS)

Leaders of the West African Economic Community (ECOWAS) also called for the resignation of the 31 parliamentarians who occupy contentious seats.

It was one of the resolutions that the ECOWAS leaders adopted at the end of their extraordinary meeting that was held almost on Monday morning.

“The Heads of State and Government ask all political parties to endeavour to obtain the immediate resignation of all the 31 Members of Parliament whose election is contested.

These resignations will pave the way for by-elections. Pending these by-elections, the Parliament will operate with the 116 remaining Members,” the leaders said in a communique issued at the end of their meeting.

Nigeria's state minister for international affairs, Zubairu Dada, read the communique.

Nevertheless, the West African leaders did not agree with the opposition 's call for President Ibrahim Keita 's resignation. Instead, they called for a unity government to be formed, and called on the opposition to be part of the unity government.

A resistance group in Mali, M5, is insisting on dissolving the Constitutional Court and resigning the president before stability can return to the region.

After the court nullified the results of 31 parliamentary seats in the polls held recently, the crisis erupted, awarding victory to some other contender, which the resistance group said was at President Keita's instigation.

Riots on July 10 led to security forces killing some of the demonstrators, causing the situation to escalate out of control, hence ECOWAS involvement.

Yet ECOWAS 'Special Envoy to Mali, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who had previously paid a peace mission to Mali in the last two weeks, said:

“ECOWAS felt that the violent protest should not continue, so I should lead a special team to go again and engage them (protesters).

Mr Jonathan, who described the outcome of their mission to Mali as moderately successful, expressed the hope that the troubled country will be returned to normalcy soon.

Read the communique from today’s meeting below.

  • The Heads of States and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) held and extraordinary Summit by Visio conference on July 27th 2020. They examined the current socio-political situation in Mali, characterised by demonstrations initiated early June 2020 by a group which includes political parties, civil society organisations and various religious associations. This group is called the June 5 Movement Group of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP).
  • This socio-political situation is taking place in a difficult context for Mali, characterised by a serious security threat with recurring terrorist attacks, inter-community tensions in the Central part of the country, a social tension marked by a long strike of school teachers, a health crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and financial consequences.
  • This current crisis is quite similar to the 2012 one when violent demonstrations led to a military coup on March 22, 2012. It is useful to recall that this 2012 military coup plunged the Republic of Mali into uncertainty and favoured the expansion of terrorist jihadist groups in the country.

  • In order to avoid the repetition of this situation, an ECOWAS Ministerial Mission was deployed to Bamako from June 18 to 20th by the Chairperson of ECOWAS to help resolve the crisis. The Ministerial Mission established the diagnostic of the crisis, and proposed solutions along with some recommendations. Unfortunately these recommendations were not implemented and demonstrations continued. They were particularly violent on July 10th, 11th and 12th and led to numerous deaths, and casualties, with public and private property destructions.
  • With the deterioration of the situation, ECOWAS appointed H.E. DR. GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, GCFR, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as a Special Envoy to lead a Mediation mission to reduce tension. The Mediator conducted a mission to Bamako from July 15th to 19th 2020 and after meeting all stakeholders, formulated a Roadmap for a way out of the crisis. This roadmap was accepted by most stakeholders with the exception of the Strategic Committee of M5-RFP which maintained its demands, namely: The resignation of the President of the Republic of Mali; The establishment of a transitional regime; The establishment of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the deaths on July 10th, 11th and 12th, and the release of the Honourable Soumaïla Cissé, head of the Parliamentarian Opposition, abducted during the legislative elections.
The M5-RFP has also announced that they will resume demonstrations.