The West African regional bloc ECOWAS called on Mali’s new military government that seized power last month
to appoint a civilian to head a transition government by September 15.
The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) slapped sanctions on Mali after the
August 18 coup, including closing borders and banning trade, and has called for elections within 12 months.
Mali’s new military government has proposed a years-long, military-led transition back to civilian rule, but ECOWAS
commission chief Jean-Claude Kassi Brou has insisted it be led by a civilian president and prime minister for a 12-month period.
In the final statement of an ECOWAS summit in Niger’s capital Niamey on Monday, Brou said Mali’s civilian transition
president and prime minister “must be appointed no later than September 15”.
“It will be difficult for the Malian authorities to reach an agreement that is acceptable to … ECOWAS in the next few days
to set up a transitional government, but if both sides make substantial concessions some kind of an agreement can be reached,”
“However, it remains to be seen whether they will meet the tough conditions set by ECOWAS.”
It was unclear what kind of leverage ECOWAS has over the military rulers to force the September 15 deadline,
but the grouping could keep sanctions in place while tracking the consultations between the military government and
various Malian factions.