By Amaechi Idumuebor (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – West African leaders have emphasized that Mali’s junta should nominate civilian transitional leaders within days to lead the nation toward elections, Ghana’s president said following a regional summit.
Six leaders from the West African regional economic bloc, ECOWAS, met with Mali’s junta Tuesday in Ghana, whose president now serves as the bloc’s new chairman. They agreed the junta must install a civilian president and vice president.
ECOWAS insisted that the transitional leaders must be civilians, rejecting the junta’s suggestion that the leaders could come from the military. “We need a civilian leadership of the transition,” Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo said after the summit. “From the minute that leadership is put in place,” the regional sanctions on Mali will be lifted, he said. This should be accomplished within days, not weeks, he said.
The military junta staged a coup on Aug. 18, deposing Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita who still had three years remaining in his second term in office. The military leaders held talks with various political and civil society groups to come up with an outline for a transition to civilian rule last week.