The terms of resolution on the political impasse in Mali are expected today following Thursday’s move by President Muhammadu Buhari and four other West African countries’ leaders to negotiate end of the impasse.
The other leaders on the trip are: Macky Sall (Senegal), Alassane Ouattara (Coto d’ Ivoire), Nana Akufo-Addo (Ghana) and Mahamadou Issoufou (Niger).
President Buhari arrived in Bamako, the Malian capital, wearing a face mask publicly for the first time.
The political crisis has raised fears it could undermine a regional fight against Islamist militants, according to a report by Reuters.
The agency also reported that the crisis was infuriated by corruption, disputed local election results and army losses to jihadists.
Thousands of people have taken to the streets, sparking clashes with police which led to the death of no fewer than 14 protesters
An ECOWAS mission last week, led by Goodluck Jonathan, former Nigerian president, proposed setting up a government of national unity that would include members of the opposition and civil society groups. It also suggested, among others, the appointment of new judges to the Constitutional Court, which had already been “de facto” dissolved by Keita in a bid to calm unrest.
But the proposals were rejected by the June 5 Movement, a group called M5-RFP whose figurehead is Saudi-trained Muslim cleric Mahmoud Dicko.
It insisted on not quiting until President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita steps down, raising concerns in neighbouring countries of a protracted crisis.