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Buhari receives briefing from President Jonathan on restoration of peace in Mali

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday received his immediate predecessor in office, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Dr Jonathan, who is ECOWAS Special Envoy to the Republic of Mali, briefed President Buhari on the political situation in the West African country, as corollary to efforts by West African leaders to restore stability to the country.

President Buhari and four other ECOWAS leaders had visited Bamako, Mali, last month, followed by a virtual extraordinary summit of the sub-regional body.

Dr Jonathan, who was in Mali from Monday to Thursday, last week, recounted his meetings with the stakeholders, including political and religious leaders, Ambassadors of US, France, Russia, Germany, European Union, and other important personalities key to peace and cohesion in the country.

The main opposition group, M5, he said, continued to insist on the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, a position not acceptable to ECOWAS, which insisted only on democratic process in change of power within its jurisdiction.

“We told them that no international organization, including the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), and others, would agree with their position. We continued to emphasize the need for dialogue,” former President Jonathan stressed.

He added that the Constitutional Court had been reconstituted and inaugurated, while vacancies in the Supreme Court had been filled, thus sorting out the judicial arm of government.

President Buhari thanked Dr Jonathan for what he called “the stamina you have displayed” on the Mali issue, and counseled further consultations with the Chairman of ECOWAS, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic.

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