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‘Heads of States’ meet in Ghana after UEMOA court suspends ECOWAS sanctions on Mali

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After the court of the West African Economic and Monetary Union- UEMOA suspended regional bloc – ECOWAS 3-months old sanctions on Mali Thursday, leaders of the Economic Community of West Africa African States (ECOWAS) met on Friday for a summit over Mali’s political crisis.

The summit was held in Ghana’s capital city, Accra. In attendance were members of the “Heads of States” of ECOWAS. Malian Foreign Minister Aboudlaye Diop confirmed the meeting on Friday.

Also in discussions were the situation in Guinea and Burkina Faso, where coups have also taken place recently.

On Thursday, the court of the West African Economic and Monetary The court of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) on Thursday ordered a suspension of the eight-nation body’s sanctions against Mali, imposed in January after the junta delayed elections.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) disagreed with the military junta of Colonel Goïta in Mali over the duration of the transition into civil government and a date for elections. The regional bloc mediator and former president of Nigeria (2010-2015) Goodluck Jonathan was in Bamako last week with delegates in a bid to broker an earlier transition period but left without reaching a compromising stand with the military government.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) ramped up sanctions on Mali after Goïta took over the government in August 2020. The regional body also activated its standby military force following the failure of transitional authorities in the country to organise elections.

 

The government of Mali, which has been under West African sanctions since January, says it has submitted a timetable for “elections with a 36-month (three-year) deadline for the transition,” but “this proposal was not accepted by the West African mediator,” according to a statement issued Sunday evening after Jonathan’s departure.

Politics

18 years after suspension, Zimbabwe lobbys for readmission into Commonwealth

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Southern African Zimbabwe has continued with lobbying for readmission 18 years after it was thrown out of the body over allegations of human rights abuses.

The country made its latest move to be readmitted at the ongoing Commonwealth summit in Rwanda.

Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Rwanda Charity Manyeruke, who is attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali as an observer alongside other top government officials, told newsmen that the country’s participation at the summit was a “positive development.”

“Zimbabwe is excited to be participating in Commonwealth forums as this presents opportunities to network with the international community taking into account the government of Zimbabwe’s policy of engagement and reengagement,” Ms Manyeruke said.

“The Commonwealth meeting in Kigali has provided opportunities for our Zimbabwean diaspora across the globe, who are participating as panellists, facilitators and as delegates in the forums.

Zimbabwe was first suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth for one year, after international observers condemned disputed presidential election as unfairly tilted toward Robert Mugabe in 2022.

One year after the suspension, Mr Mugabe revealed that he did not accept a Commonwealth decision to prolong Zimbabwe’s suspension from the group until the country mended its ways.

“Accordingly, Zimbabwe has withdrawn its membership from the Commonwealth with immediate effect,” said a government statement.

Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs deputy minister David Musabayana said he had held meetings with influential people to discuss the country’s potential readmission.

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Malian military leader signs election law that will allow him contest in 2024: Is this deja vu?

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Leader of the Malian military junta, Col. Assimi Goita, has signed a new law which will pave the way for elections in 2024 and a return of the West African country to constitutional rule.

Col. Goita who has been president of the transitional government since seizing power in a coup two years ago, signed the law on Friday which will create a single election management body to replace a disputed three-party system.

The new law would also allow Goita and other military members of the transitional government eligible to run for elective positions in the next presidential election.

The law is seen as a step in the right direction after the West Africa regional bloc, the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), imposed stiff sanctions on Mali earlier this year after the military rulers refused to organise elections in February as planned.

Mali and the 15-member ECOWAS have also been at logger heads over the coup leaders’ proposed five year timeline to elections, before proposing a two-year timeline, which ECOWAS deemed was too long.

The interim military government had, onJune 6, issued a decree fixing the two-year timetable, to be counted from March 2022, while negotiations with ECOWAS were still ongoing.

The law which gives room for Col. Goita to contest in the Mali election sounds like a deja vu situation too familiar with military coup leaders on the African continent, many of whom, over the years, transformed into civilian leaders, comfortably shedding their khaki uniforms for a civilian garb depending on the country’s national and traditional wear.

Goita does not lack inspiration as several examples abound from the length and breadth of Africa where the leaders ride into power on the barrels of guns but end up transforming into civilian presidents.

Africa will not forget the likes of Muamar Gaddafi in Libya, Thomas Sankara in Burkina Faso, Idi Amin Dada and Yoweri Museveni in
Uganda, Paul Kagame in Rwanda,
Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Hussein Tantawi in Egypt, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in Equatorial Guinea, Yahya Jammeh in The Gambia.

Others in the distinguished list include Jerry Rawlings in Ghana, Omar al-Bashir in Sudan, Gnassingbé Eyadéma in Togo, Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire, and a host of other African leaders who went from military head of states to civilian presidents.

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