A prominent politician in Mali says the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is to blame after the military junta leader rejected a proposal on how the country’s transition should proceed.
Cheick Traore, leader of the African Convergence for Renewal (CARE) party and son of former President Moussa Traore, said a majority of Malians seem to support the rejection of the ECOWAS proposal.
Captain Amadou Sanogo said the junta was not consulted before the sub-regional bloc took a decision which he said sharply contravenes an agreement signed in April.
The accord stipulates a 40-day term for an interim civilian government after which elections would be organized with the help of the junta.
But at a recent meeting in the Ivorian commercial capital, Abidjan, regional leaders declared Mali’s transition would last 12 months during which elections would be organized. The leaders also agreed to send troops to support the transition and help Mali restore its territorial integrity after Tuareg rebels seized the north.
“The fact that ECOWAS has decided to change everything without consulting the army, that is what created all of this mess,” said Traore.
“ECOWAS should come back to Mali and renegotiate with the junta if they want to change things, it’s better that way instead of taking decisions without consulting not only the military, but also the political forces in Mali,” he added.
Traore called on ECOWAS to engage the military junta to resolve any differences and help pave the way for a smooth transition.
He said ECOWAS caused confusion by abdicating its part of the agreement it signed with the military junta.
“The [agreement] document said that after the 40 days they have to come back and renegotiate the role that the army should play during the transition, [but] that’s what has not been done,” said Traore.
“If you see today, more than 60 to 70 percent of Malians are behind the army… because they read the agreement or have listened to what has been signed on local radios between ECOWAS and the army,” he said.
Coup leader Sanogo has said the junta will abide by the agreement it signed with ECOWAS, and called on the sub-regional bloc to also stick to its part of the accord.