News

ECOWAS Leaders Will Resolve Mali Crisis, Says Obasanjo

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, delivering his keynote address at the 2012 Kellogg Africa Business Conference at Northwestern University.
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, delivering his keynote address at the 2012 Kellogg Africa Business Conference at Northwestern University.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Forner Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo

Peter Clottey

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed confidence that heads of state and government within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are capable of resolving Mali’s crisis.

“What our leaders are doing I believe is right, so this day and age coups are no longer acceptable,” Obasanjo said in an interview with VOA. “But having said that, how do we now navigate getting those who in reality now have power by possessing guns and then move on to restore democracy. What our leaders should be saying is restoration of democracy, rather than restoration of any individual in power.”

Mr. Obasanjo delivered the keynote address on “Unlocking Africa’s Potential: Defining the Next Steps” at the Kellogg Africa Business Conference at Northwestern University Saturday, where he underscored the need for peace and security, stability, good governance and democracy.

Mali security concerns

Former President Obasanjo met with deposed Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure before his ouster by mutinous Malian soldiers.

Obasanjo said Mr. Toure had expressed his concerns following the resurgence of the Tuareg rebellion in January.

“We knew that at the end of the Libya operations, there would be fallouts. And the fallout would be where would all the weapons go? Where would be some of those who have been trained how to use weapons [and] how would they be accounted for? Obasanjo asked. “Part of what is happening in Mali is part of the fallout from Libya, and we should not expect that Mali will be the last.”

The Tuaregs are believed to have fought for long-time Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and then to have returned to Mali after his death.

Solving crisis

The former Nigerian leader outlined some steps West African regional leaders can take to help resolve the Malian crisis.

“We have to acknowledge the legitimate complaints of the military that they were given [a] task without adequate tools to perform the task,” said Obasanjo. “Our leaders should say, ‘well, we acknowledge this and having acknowledged that, we know that you are complaining about this legitimate situation that you find yourself [in], but the way you have gone about it is not the right way and that way is not acceptable.’”

Obasanjo said regional leaders should find some way to ensure those who have legitimate concerns are not unduly punished. He said ECOWAS should encourage the soldiers to return to their barracks, and “then some form of arrangement made to have a short transition period of a civilian administration that will conduct an election, and fully restore democracy and constitutional government.”

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: abuchi
April 03, 2012 3:01 AM
a really good advice that has to be learned by all this French bloodsuckers like President Ouattara of cote d'ivoire

by: Oludotun Malomo
April 02, 2012 10:36 PM
Africa leadership should device a way to let societies in Africa to express their cultural diversities as a sense of recognition would diffuse tensions in the continent. The colonial map should not be sacrosanct, the continent, p0olitically in not working, socioeconomically is not, is only a warfare societies that Berlin Conference has created. Pls is time this is dismantle for the good of new emerging World Order

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs