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.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora