Breaking News: ECOWAS Leaders Mandate Jonathan To Negotiate Immediate Release Of Detained Malian President, Others


Former President Goodluck Jonathan and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Special Envoy to Mali has been mandated by the sub-regional body to go to Mali to negotiate the immediate release of detained President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, Prime Minister Boubou Cisse and others detained by the military.

A group of rebellious soldiers had early on Wednesday ousted the government of Keita and forced him to dissolve the cabinet and resign his position as the country’s leader, amidst citizens protests for democratic reforms.

Our correspondent gathered that the ECOWAS leaders also mandated Jonathan to engage the new military junta to continue his mediation  efforts towards resolving the lingering political crisis in Mali.

The Bridge News gathered that the ex-President’s mandate  has shifted from reconciling all the stakeholders prior to Wednesday’s coup d’etat to engaging the the new military rulers of the country for the release of the detained Malian leader as well as finding a way out of the present political crisis In the country.

Our correspondent gathered that this was the resolution reached by the Authority of Heads of State and Government after their virtual extraordinary session on Thursday.

“The leaders asked former President Jonathan to leave as soon as possible for Bamako to engage the new military leaders towards the release of President Keita and restoration of constitutional rule in Mali. He will be accompanied on the assignment by the President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou,” a sourceI at the meeting told our correspondent, on Thursday night.

“The former President maybe departing for Bamako on Friday or Saturday for the urgent assignment. The ECOWAS leaders are determined to restore constitutional democracy to Mali as quickly as possible,” the source added.

The meeting was attended by leaders from all member-countries of ECOWAS including, Mr.Issoufou Mahamadou, President of the Republic of Niger and Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Jonathan.

Others include Special Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary General to Mali and Head of MINUSMA Mr.Mahamat Saleh Annadif and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat.