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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    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 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.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.