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.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
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 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 '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 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.

VOA Blogs