Mali held its 60 year national independence day junta-led ceremony in Bamako on Tuesday which interestingly followed the public announcement of the appointed transitional president retired officer and former Defence Minister of ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Colonel Major Bah N’daou by the NCSP junta head Colonel Assimi Goita — who took advantage of the event’s media coverage to appeal to the Economic Community of West African leaders (ECOWAS) to lift sanctions on Mali in light of the recent decision.
The colonel also made good on the organisation’s promise to uphold all international agreements (including anti-jihadists efforts in the region) during the transition by calling on the support of the Malian people, “The message to the Malian people is a message of sacred union around Mali, and I ask them to support the armed forces of defence and security. This is the opportunity for me today to congratulate and encourage them for all their efforts to bring security and peace to Mali. And I also urge the Malian people to support our partner forces such as the Barkhane force, MINUSMA and the Takuba force.”
Goita himself will serve as vice-president during the 18-month transition to civilian power. ECOWAS — who has been adamant about the swift transition to civilian power, is yet to publicly acknowledge the recent events. However, its mediator representative former Nigerian head of State Goodluck Jonathan is expected in Mali on Wednesday.
ECOWAS — in light of the putsch ousting ex-president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on August 18th, suspended Mali from its decision-making bodies, closed the borders of its member states, and stopped financial and commercial exchanges with Mali, with the exception of basic necessities, medicines, equipment to fight against coronavirus, petroleum products and electricity.
This embargo is a serious concern in this poor and landlocked country.