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Buhari, Jonathan, others off to Mali for renewed mediation in Mali crisis

*Jonathan, ECOWAS Special Envoy, returns to Mali with Buhari, Akuffo-Addo, 2 other Presidents to resume mediation in Mali crisis

From NDUKAIHE UGWU, Abuja

Former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan earlier today returned to Bamako in continuation of his mediation mission as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) intensifies efforts at resolving the ongoing socio-political crisis in the Mali.

As ECOWAS’ Special Envoy to Mali, the former President will be accompanying a High-Level Mission of five West African Heads of State who are visiting Mali as a follow-up to Jonathan’s last week’s mediation mission to Bamako. The High-Level Mission includes Nigerian President Muhamadu BuhariMr. Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger and Chair of ECOWAS Authority, Mr. Macky Sall, President of Senegal, Mr. Alassane Ouattara, President of Cote d’Ivoire and Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-addo, President of the Republic of Ghana.

The regional leaders are expected to meet with key stakeholders in the Malian political crisis with a view to helping them to find a common ground in the search for solution.

After a threeday mission to Mali last week, which ended last Sunday, Jonathan and his mediation team recommended the formation of a government of national unity with members drawn from different interest groups in the country, including the ruling coalition, the opposition parties and the civil society.

It also recommended the establishment of a technical committee to be set up by ECOWAS to monitor the implementation of the proposed measures which also include the reconstitution of the dissolved constitutional court as well as the resolution of the dispute over 31 legislative seats recently set aside by the defunct constitutional court.

Many stakeholders and interest groups have so far welcomed the proposed unity government as a means of resolving the political impasse. However, the opposition backed M5 coalition are yet to come on board, as they have continued to insist on the resignation of President Keita among other tough demands, even after meeting with the Jonathan-led team many times.

While in Bamako the Jonathan-led mission, which was in Mali one month after the visit of ECOWAS Ministerial Mission, held consultations with different stakeholders including President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, Imam Mahmoud Dicko, members of the M5-RFP collation , the majority coalition in Parliament, judges, heads of international agencies, diplomats, members of Civil Society as well as women and youth groups.

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