Former Nigeria’s President and Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) Special Envoy to Mali, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has returned to Bamako on Monday to continue his mediation assignment towards resolving the nation’s socio-political crisis.
Jonathan, who had earlier visited Mali twice in the last one month, is currently undertaking a monitoring and follow up mission to engage stakeholders on the implementation of the road map decided by the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government that detailed measures to end the protracted political crisis and restore peace in the country.
He urged Malians, especially members of the opposition, to stop further demonstrations in order to enable ongoing discussions to bear more fruits.
Jonathan also witnessed on Monday the inauguration of the Mali’s reconstituted nine-member constitutional court in Bamako, which was a key recommendation by ECOWAS leaders as a means of moving the country forward.
Another recommendation, which has been implemented, was the appointment of ministers of six key ministries to partially constitute the cabinet.
His presence as a guest during the swearing-in ceremony of the nine constitutional court judges is seen as a strong indication that ECOWAS is deeply engaged in resolving Mali’s political crisis.
Jonathan, who has been leading the ECOWAS mediation mission to Mali, also on Monday night met with some civil society members shortly after he visited populist Imam Mahmoud Dicko, who is believed to have links with those behind the anti-government protests Bamako.
The Nigeria’s former President is scheduled to continue his consultations on yesterday by meeting different stakeholders and members of the international community.
Jonathan, at a press conference in Bamako last night, appealed to the Malian opposition to stop further demonstrations and embrace dialogue as a means of resolving pending issues.
He said: “We are happy that progress is being made. Some judges of the Supreme Court were appointed today (Monday). The constitutional court was also inaugurated today. At least, the judicial arm is now complete.
“We know some issues are still pending that are yet to be concluded. We know that before people go on demonstrations, there must be some challenges. These have to be resolved. On behalf of the ECOWAS we appeal to the people of Mali to stop further demonstrations and embrace dialogue.
The former President added: “Those who organised the demonstration have done well to make the whole world know about their issues. The whole of the ECOWAS region is now aware of the issues in Mali just as the African Union, the European Union, the United States of America are all aware of the situation here.
“We recognise that the right to embark on peaceful protests is in the constitution of Mali.
“This is now the time to stop further demonstrations and give room for dialogue. Demonstrations per se, does not solve problems. It is discussion and peaceful engagement that solve problems.
“Now that demonstration has brought out these issues, let us then sit down and discuss to find ways of resolving them.”