News

ECOWAS Condemns Military ‘Adventurism’ in Mali

Renegade Malian soldiers appear on television at the ORTM television studio in Bamako, March 22, 2012 still image taken from video.
Renegade Malian soldiers appear on television at the ORTM television studio in Bamako, March 22, 2012 still image taken from video.
Peter Clottey

An official of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says the sub-regional bloc will not tolerate “military adventurism” after mutinous soldiers toppled Mali President Amadou Toumani Toure.

Communications director Sonny Ugoh said the crisis in Mali undermines ECOWAS’ efforts at promoting peace, political stability and democracy in West Africa.

“The regional leaders agree that the train of democracy is irreversible for us, and we will not allow adventurists to turn the hands of the clock backwards,” said Ugoh. “This is essentially the basis for the protocol or democracy and good governance, which is an extension on the mechanism of intervention, resolution and peacekeeping and regional security.”

Ugoh said the sub-regional bloc will continue with its efforts to entrench democracy in West Africa.

Ugoh said ECOWAS has begun consultations with its local and international partners to decide its next line of action.

“We are concerned about this latest affront to democratic governance in West Africa,” said Ugoh. “Regional leaders are consulting to see how best to respond to it, because that goes against the grain of all the instruments that ECOWAS members have signed. [This is particularly true regarding] democracy and good governance, where we agreed categorically, to not allow ascension to power obtained through this kind of means.

The mutinous soldiers say they acted because of the president's incompetence in fighting a rebellion by ethnic Tuaregs in Mali's north.

But Ugoh said the soldiers “jumped the gun” after saying ECOWAS was preparing a mediation team to help broker a ceasefire in Mali before Wednesday’s coup d’état.

“The president of the commission Desire Ouedraogo led a fact finding mission that returned from Mali where they held consultations, all with the intention of starting a process that would hopefully lead to a negotiated resolution of the crisis in the north of Mali,” said Ugoh.

He said the coup d’état exacerbates the country’s security problem.

Mali was scheduled to go to the polls on April 29th to elect a new president to take over from President Amadou Toumani Toure.

But, analysts doubt the vote will proceed as originally planned.

Ugoh expressed optimism it will be held as scheduled, despite the overthrow of the government.

“We are hopeful the election will hold…the citizens are perfectly entitled to vote in an election, and it is their responsibility therefore by voting to determine a government of their choice,” said Ugoh. “It is not that any time anybody disagrees with the government then he mobilizes some disgruntled people and then takes over the reins of government.”

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs