The West African regional group has on Tuesday lifted sanctions imposed on Mali following a coup in August that ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announcing the decision said in a statement released today that the “heads of state and government have decided to lift sanctions” in order to “support” the handover to civilian rule.
This comes after military authorities formed a transitional government comprising of army officials and civilians.
In the notable progress made towards a constitutional normalization in Mali, the West African leaders noted the nomination of retired Colonel Bah Ndaw as interim president and former Foreign Minister Moctar Ouane as prime minister of the transition that is expected to last 18 months.
Earlier, the United States reacted to the establishment of a transitional government in Mali. saying it welcomed the initial step towards a return to constitutional order.
The US government also called on the government to respect human rights and take concrete steps to prevent violations of those rights by state security forces, and to investigate and hold to account those responsible when violations occur. The statement urged the transitional government to fight corruption and reform electoral processes.
In August, the coup came after months of anti-Keita protests over the country’s worsening security situation, chronic economic malaise and alleged electoral malpractices.
The west African country has been plagued by an eight-year conflict that began as a separatist movement in the north but soon devolved into a multitude of armed groups jockeying for control in the country’s central region. The insecurity has spilled into neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger, with groups exploiting the poverty of marginalized communities and inflaming tensions between ethnic groups.
Ethiopia PM Meets AU Envoys But Bars Them From Tigray
After more than three weeks of military conflict in Ethiopia, the country’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed has on Friday met an African Union mission in Addis Ababa to try to mediate between his government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Initially, Abiy has refused to negotiate with the TPLF and has rebuffed calls for dialogue as “interference” in Ethiopia’s internal affairs as he branded international efforts to bring the two parties to the table as “unwelcome”. After Friday’s meeting with three special AU envoys,
The prime minister, who won last year’s Nobel Peace Prize said in a statement after Friday’s meeting with three special AU envoys that his government was seeking to ensure the protection of civilians, it was opening a humanitarian corridor, and it will welcome back Ethiopian refugees who fled into Sudan.
However, the prime minister said his government would continue its efforts against what it calls the “TPLF clique”.
The government has already said the AU envoys – former presidents Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa – will not be allowed to travel to Tigray.
Abiy said he appreciated the “esteemed African elders” for their “readiness to support”, “this gesture and… the steadfast commitment this demonstrates to the principle of African solutions to African problems.”
Uganda Police To ‘Investigate Protesters’ Deaths’
Uganda’s police have begun probe into the alleged killing of protesters. The security outfit opened investigations into law enforcement`s violent crackdown on protesters last week that led to killings of dozens demonstrators.
The police spokesperson Fred Enanga said the inquiry will “identify mistakes” that led to the collateral damage.
Last week, plain-clothed operatives were seen on video recorded by members of the public holding guns in the streets during protest over the arrest of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine. Bobi Wine was charged with flouting covid-19 restrictions and granted bail. He has returned to campaigning.
There have been calls by European Union envoys for a full and independent investigation into police actions against protesters to ensure justice for victims and to avoid impunity for the perpetrators who must be held accountable”.
Africa ‘Needs To Get Ready For COVID-19 Vaccine’ – WHO
The World Health Organization is urging countries in Africa to prepare for the arrival of a vaccine as soon as possible. W.H.O warned that African countries are far from ready to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine, whenever one becomes available.
It says only a third of countries on the continent have a health infrastructure capable of conducting mass vaccination campaigns.
WHO also says only half of the countries on the continent have set aside funding and identified priority cases who will receive the vaccine first.
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Africa CDC has said vaccinating people will be a big challenge. Africa CDC hopes to vaccinate at least 60% of people on the continent, arguing that this should help achieve herd immunity.
There are now more than 2.1 million cases on the continent – less than 4% of the global total.
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention director, Dr John Nkegasong, has said the process might not start until the second quarter of next year.
Until then, people have been urged to rely on the public health measures that have been put in place to prevent further spread of COVID-19.