Bamako, September 7: Mali, which was considered as "relatively stable" till around a month ago, is in the midst of a major political crisis since the ouster of elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. Over a fortnight after a military coup, the 15-member bloc of West African nations has called upon the new junta to restore civilian supremacy at the earliest. Here are 10 points to know on the crisis that erupted in Mali following the coup. Mali: Gunmen Ambush Army's Convoy in Southern Part of Country, Kill 24 Soldiers.

  • The 15-nation Economic Community of West Africa State (ECOWAS), in a statement issued today, demanded the new military junta to restore civilian supremacy and conduct parliamentary elections within 12 months.
  • This was the second call issued by the West African bloc. On August 28, the conglomerate had similarly called upon the military leadership to pave for elections.
  • If the junta fails to abide by the ECOWAS' demand, Mali could be hit by a another wave of sanctions amid the ongoing crisis of unemployment, falling income and stagflation.
  • "The junta must initiate a civil transition immediately" and the "rapid establishment of a government to (...) prepare the legislative and presidential elections within 12 months", said a statement issued by ECOWAS read following the video summit today.
  • Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou, who presided over the ECOWAS session, said the sanctions currently imposed against Mali would be easened as soon as the junta begins the process to appoint a civilian leadership.
  • Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan also warned of a possible "jihadist takeover" of Mali if the political crisis is not resolved at the earliest.
  • The junta, though agreeing to conduct elections at the earliest, has irked the ECOWAS with its condition to form a military council that will be placed above the civilian government. The council would be headed by 37-year-old colonel Assimi Goita, who led the coup against Keita.
  • The coup was executed by them on August 18, when 75-year-old President was abducted by them and forced to resign on gunpoint.
  • After the powers were handed over to the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) - the new military junta body - Keita was released from custody.
  • Even as the junta has assumed control, the anti-Keita protesters have refused to back down. "We will not give a blank cheque to anyone to run this country, that's over," said Mali's influential imam Mahmoud Dicko, who has been leading the agitation in Bamako.

Meanwhile, Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum became the first foreign dignitary to hold talks with the junta representatives following the coup. The crisis, apart from sparking concern among the neighbouring regions, has also drawn the attention of France which is considering to deploy representatives in Bamaro for expediting the negotiations.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 07, 2020 07:26 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website