The international organization la Francophonie on Tuesday suspended Mali from its authorities and demanded the release of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, who was overthrown by a military coup on August 18. The summit with ECOWAS ‘heads of state, which was originally planned for Wednesday, was also postponed until Friday.
It is the turn of the international organization la Francophonie (OIF) to react. The Permanent Council of La Francophonie (CPF), meeting in an extraordinary videoconferencing session on Tuesday, August 25, “decided to call for the repeal of the Republic of Mali by the Francophonie while maintaining cooperative measures that directly benefit civilians other than those contributing to the restoration of democracy, “the organization said in a statement.
The organization demands the release of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (IBK), who was ousted on August 18 and then arrested “as well as the establishment, as soon as possible, of a transitional government led by a civilian authority”. The statement expresses the intention to send a high-level delegation to Bamako in the coming days to assess the situation.
ECOWAS, which has also suspended Mali from its decision-making bodies, has in recent days sent a delegation to Bamako to work for an “immediate” restoration of President Keita and a constitutional order. The delegation and the junta separated on Monday without agreeing on the terms of a transfer.
The delegation must now report to ECOWAS, but it expressed hope that the junta will join within 24 or 48 hours of its request for a transition limited to about a year or less and led by a civilian personality, not military. Junta did not announce a position on Tuesday.
The ECOWAS summit has been postponed
A summit with ECOWAS heads of state, which was originally planned for Wednesday, was postponed until Friday, the organization’s communications director, Sandra Oulate, told AFP.
Leaders will examine the need to maintain or not maintain or even strengthen the sanctions that have already been taken, such as the closure of Member States’ borders with Mali and the end of financial and trade flows. The military says it is concerned about the impact of retaliation on a country facing, in addition to the spread and violence of jihadists between municipalities, the economic downturn and state failures.
ECOWAS had said on August 20 to “categorically deny any form of legitimacy to the military coup”. However, analysts note a tendency for pragmatism among Mali’s partners. Discussions between the military and the ECOWAS delegation seem to have confirmed that the original demand for a return to power from IBK is no longer on the agenda.
The National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) set up by the junta on Monday received the French ambassador and commander of the French anti-jihadist force in the Sahel (Barkhane) and the Algerian ambassador, mediator of an important agreement between the Malian authorities and rebel groups in 2015, according to photos from the meetings published on the CNSP’s Twitter account.
Tuesday marked the beginning of US and Italian ambassadors and a delegation from the G5 Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger, Chad except Mali) according to the CNSP.
On Wednesday, the CNSP will receive representatives of the so-called June 5 movement, which for several weeks had led to a broad civil protest that destabilizes President Keïta.