Ghana's President is new ECOWAS Chairman gives September 15 to Malian Junta for transition President

The sitting President of Ghana, Prof. Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday emerged the new Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at an election held at the Mahatma Gandhi International Conference Centre.

He was elected at the ongoing 57th ECOWAS Summit in Niamey, Niger capital of which President Muhammadu Buhari is among the leaders attending the summit.

Prof. Akufo-Addo took over from the Niger President.

Patmos Media Line was monitoring events from the Conference Center till 1715 hours when the new Chairman was giving his acceptance speech and contact was lost.

Agency reports later gave the following report as the foremost decision of the Heads of States.

The leaders gave the military junta in Mali until Sept. 15 to name a transitional president and a prime minister, according to a statement read at the end of a summit on Monday.

The 15-nation bloc said the president and prime minister, who will lead the transitional government, should be civilians.

The meeting maintained the sanctions it imposed on Mali in the aftermath of the coup.

But it also welcomed steps taken by the junta in the past week to start talks with Mali’s political parties and civil society groups over the transition.

ECOWAS closed its borders with landlocked Mali and halted financial flows amid concerns that the military coup could undermine the democratic gains in the region.

A group of army colonels led by Col. Assimi Goita has ruled Mali since ousting President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Aug. 18.

No consensus has yet been reached on the make-up and duration of a transitional government ahead of promised elections.

ECOWAS is calling for a swift return to civilian rule and a vote within a year, a timeline the junta, the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), has not committed to.

ECOWAS Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, said both the president and prime minister must be appointed by Sept. 15 at the latest.

Talks in the capital Bamako about the transition period got off to a bumpy start on Saturday, when supporters of the influential M5-RFP political coalition accused the junta of sidelining them.

The junta’s negotiations, which are also being held in regional capitals across Mali, will continue later this week.

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari who addressed the leaders in Niamey wearing Face Mask has since returned to Abuja.

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