Mali: Buhari heads to Ghana for emergency summit

May 30, 2021
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President Muhammadu Buhari will today depart Abuja for Accra, Ghana, to attend an emergency extraordinary summit of ECOWAS,convened to discuss recent political developments in Mali.

According to a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, the meeting is at the instance of the chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS and president of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo.

Prior to the summit, the president had met with the special envoy and ECOWAS mediator in Mali, former president Goodluck Jonathan, who briefed him on the latest developments in the country following his meeting with key political actors in the West African country.

Adesina said; “As the situation in Mali continues to evolve, Nigeria had condemned the May 24 military coup, the subsequent detention of the president and prime minister by soldiers, and called for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilian officials detained.

“President Buhari will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd), Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adebayo, and Director-General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.”

He is expected back in Abuja at the end of the one-day summit.

The meeting is coming after the army officer , a Colonel, who led a military coup in Mali earlier this week was officially named the country’s leader.

Mali’s constitutional court published a judgement late Friday declaring that Colonel Assimi Goita was assuming the presidency.

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The judgement gives Goita the power to head the interim government and “lead the transition process to its conclusion.”

The judgement noted “the vacancy of the presidency of the transition following the resignation of Mr Bah N’Daw.”

President N’Daw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane resigned from their positions after being detained for several days in a coup staged by Goita. The trigger for the coup was the military’s anger over a cabinet reshuffle that saw two senior military officers stripped of their positions.

Last August, those military officers were part of a coup that ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office after nearly seven years. That power grab nine months ago was also led by Goita.

It resulted in an interim government headed by transitional president N’Daw, who had served as defence minister from 2014 to 2015 and held several other military positions, with Goita assuming the vice presidency.

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