W/African Heads of State hold extraordinary summit on Mali's crisis
By Charles Joseph
July 24, 2020 - As the political stalemate in Mali continues, leaders from five West African countries are set to hold a virtual extraordinary summit on resolving the crisis in the country.
The scheduled meeting followed a meeting of five heads of state with the government and the opposition in Mali’s capital, Bamako on Thursday.
The presidents held talks all day with various parties to proffer solutions to the political stalemate that threatens to stall a regional fight against Islamist militants.
“We have decided that we will report back to all the heads of state during an extraordinary meeting on Monday July 27.
“ECOWAS will take strong measures that will contribute to the resolutions of the crisis,” Issoufou told journalists after the meetings,” Mahamadou Issoufou, Niger’s President said.
Infuriated by corruption, disputed local election results and army losses to jihadists, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in recent weeks, sparking clashes with police in which the United Nations says at least 14 protesters have died this month.
The opposition, a group called M5-RFP whose figurehead is Saudi-trained Muslim cleric Mahmoud Dicko, has said it will not quit until President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita steps down, raising concerns in neighbouring countries of a protracted crisis.
Dicko told journalists after a final meeting late on Thursday that there had been no progress, and nothing had been offered at the moment that was acceptable to them.