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ECOWAS to meet over Mali, says Buhari

Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), at the behest of their Chairman, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, may confer again to discuss outstanding grey areas in the Mali political situation, President Muhammadu Buhari has indicated.

The President spoke after receiving briefing at State House, Abuja, Monday, from ECOWAS Special Envoy to Mali, former Nigerian President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.

Mali has appointed a civilian as Interim President. He will stay in office for 18 months, and lead the country back to constitutional order, after the military had taken over power in the country. That was part of irreducible demands by West African leaders before sanctions imposed on the country could be lifted.

However, according to the Special Envoy, the military leaders are yet to satisfy ECOWAS demand of a full civilian as Vice President, and what his roles would be in government. That position is currently being held by a serving military officer, who was also one of the leaders of the take-over.

President Buhari counseled the Special Envoy to present a formal report to the new ECOWAS Chairman, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, “who will then write us officially, and we then determine the next steps.”

The President said with about two-thirds of Mali currently under occupation by terrorists, “the priority of the military should be to secure their country,” rather than hold on to power.

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