News

    ECOWAS Seeks Democracy Roadmap From Mali Junta

    Malians who back the military coup d'etat, demonstrate in Bamako, March 28, 2012.
    Malians who back the military coup d'etat, demonstrate in Bamako, March 28, 2012.

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • Clottey interview with Dr. Remi Ajebewa, head of political affairs and international cooperation of the West-African regional bloc,ECOWAS

    Peter Clottey

    A top official of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said some regional heads of state will soon meet in Ivory Coast to demand a “democracy roadmap” from Mali’s military junta.

    Remi Ajebewa, head of political affairs and international cooperation of the West-African regional bloc, said ECOWAS is working carefully so as not to create an impression of trying to impose toppled President Amadou Toumani Toure on Malians.

    “ECOWAS will not abandon [Malians], but we want the military junta to understand that they cannot come to power through unconstitutional means,” said Ajebewa.  “They should either relinquish power or look for somebody credible right now [to rule], and then they should give us a roadmap of how they are going to do it.”

    He said ECOWAS’s protocol provides for an intervention in member countries if there is military or political instability that undermines democracy.

    Ajebewa’s comments came after an ECOWAS delegation abandoned plans to meet with Mali's junta leaders following pro-coup protests at the airport in the capital, Bamako, Thursday.

    The U.S. State Department said it is disappointed that ECOWAS leaders were unable to land, but remains hopeful that there can be a rapid diplomatic solution to the situation.

    But, Ajebewa said the sub-regional bloc is determined to push forward its efforts to ensure Mali returns to constitutional rule.

    “The ECOWAS leaders have gone to Cote d’Ivoire to have a discussion with the chair [President Alassane Ouattara] and it will be at that meeting that they will possibly determine an ultimatum, or the period, that the junta will be allowed [to leave power],” said Ajebewa. “We also have [an] ECOWAS standby force as a last resort and we are in close contact with our international partners, including the African Union and the United Nations.”

    Last week, mutinous soldiers toppled the democratically-elected Toure after accusing him of failing to decisively address an ethnic Tuareg rebellion in the north.

    Ajebewa cited countries where the sub-regional bloc has been able to resolve military instability, including Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Niger.  He said ECOWAS has the experience to handle the military crisis in Mali.

    “Carrot and stick diplomacy is going to be used and I’m surely confident that, with the success that we had in some of the places in the region… every initiative taken by ECOWAS will be successful,” said Ajebewa.  “We are being cautious in the sense that we don’t want to give a wrong impression that we are there just to impose the former president [on the people].  What we are for is the due process [towards democracy].”

    Ajebewa said ECOWAS has a zero tolerance for an unconstitutional power grab in the West African sub-region.  He said the sub-regional bloc will continue to stiffen sanctions it imposed on Mali following the overthrow of the 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.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.