Ghana President Akufo-Addo suggests 12-month transition in Mali


President Akufo-Addo has suggested 12 months for Mali’s military to hold democratic elections and hand over power to civilian rule.

In a interview with FRANCE 24 at the EU-African Union summit in Brussels, he said the junta’s proposal of a four-year transition was “clearly unacceptable” and said a 12-month transition period would be “an acceptable framework” while stressing that this was not official ECOWAS position.

Commenting on the French-led troop withdrawal from Mali, President Akufo-Addo said the development required “new arrangements” in the regional fight against terrorism.

Mr. Akufo-Addo, who is the current chairman of West African bloc ECOWAS, demanded the departure of “foreign mercenaries” from the region and explained that negotiations are underway with the Malian junta on an election timetable.

Asked about Burkina Faso, which experienced a coup last month, Mr. Akofu-Addo expressed optimism about a swift transition to civilian rule, noting that the junta had “moved very quickly” to engage in consultations.

He also warned the coup leaders in Guinea, which saw a military takeover last September, that new ECOWAS sanctions could be forthcoming if they do not provide a timetable for a transition “as soon as possible”.

Finally, Mr. Akufo-Addo insisted that military coups in West Africa are unacceptable, saying “we do not want this contagion to spread”. He added that the issue of third presidential terms was also “a matter of concern” for the region.