A new report says Mali military coup leaders have told a delegation of west African mediators they want to stay in power for a three-year transition period.
Three days of meetings by negotiators from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) who were in Mali last weekend ended without a decision on the structure of a transitional government.
ECOWAS discussed a return to civilian rule with the military officers who ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita last week. ECOWAS delegation leader, Nigeria’s former president Goodluck Jonathan, says the mutineers are now seeking to oversee a three-year transition before elections.
After taking power, the junta leaders had said they acted because the country was sinking into chaos and insecurity which they said was largely the fault of poor government. They also promised to oversee a transition to elections within a “reasonable” amount of time.
ECOWAS has said the only acceptable option was an interim government, headed by a civilian or retired military officer, to last for six or nine months, and maximum of 12 calendar months.
The coup has raised the prospect of further political turmoil in Mali and an expanding threat from Islamist militants and civil unrest.
ECOWAS Hints At Lifting Mali Sanctions
Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have hinted on lifting sanctions earlier imposed on Mali in the wake of last month’s coup. Imports to land-locked Mali have slumped since the imposition of a trade embargo.
ECOWAS envoy, Nigerian former president, Goodluck Jonathan said Mali military officers, who overthrew president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, were acceding to international calls for a transition to civilian rule.
The military junta announced a former minister of defence, Bah Nda`Oh, as interim leader that would oversee a transition to a civilian-led government. Coup leader, Colonel Assimi Goita, has been named vice-president.
Cameroon: Protesters Call For End To Bloodshed From Anglophone Crisis
Protesters in Cameroon have called for a ceasefire and negotiations to end a long-running conflict between Anglophone separatists and security forces. More than 3,000 lives have so far been lost in the conflict. The protesters are also demanding a reform of the electoral system.
Police and soldiers had taken up positions in several cities, including Douala, and the capital-Yaounde, since opposition leader, Maurice Kamto, called for a peaceful demonstration.
Police used tear gas and water cannon to break up a protest by hundreds of people in Cameroon’s economic capital Douala on Tuesday. They were calling for an end to bloodshed in the country’s Anglophone regions. At least one protester was reported killed.
Last month Kamto, head of the movement for the rebirth of Cameroon and runner-up to president Paul Biya in a 2018 election, labelled Biya`s government a “kleptocracy.” Kamto accused 87-year-old Biya of “ruling through disdain and terror,” and urged a “giant campaign calling for the pure and simple departure of Paul Biya from power.”
Ghana’s Nurses And Midwives Call Off Strike
Ghanaian nurses and midwives have called off their indefinite strike to resume work today following the government’s promise to conclude negotiations within a month.
The nurses and midwives are demanding better terms of service including rent and transport allowances.
The strike left many patients stranded, and some dead, in medical facilities across the country.
The National Labour Commission secured a court order to enforce an earlier injunction meant to end the strike and compel the healthcare workers to continue negotiations with the government.
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