At the virtually emergency summit meeting held on the 20 August 2020, the ECOWAS member states in their resolution on the ongoing crises in Mali denounced the action taken by the military to depose embattled President Ibrahim Keita, something the regional leaders’ term as a negative and obstructive insolence towards the democratic order of the Malian State and West African region. The videoconference was hosted by the president of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou, current leader of ECOWAS.
Former Mali’s President, Mr Ibrahim Keita, was arrested last week along with his Prime Minister and other government officials and forced to meet his resignation the following day.
Colonel Assimi Goita has emerged as the leader of the coup and promised to lead the country into the election. ECOWAS summoned the emergency summit to map out a resolution toward the crises. Attempts earlier made by the regional bloc to mediate between the opposition protesters and the government suggest a unity government turned futile.
However, a distinct moment during the summit stood out for observers familiar with the proceeding in the summit. To anyone who is brought up in the stern belief that African leaders don’t tell each other the truth, Guinea Bissau’s new leader, Umaro Sissoco Embaló, has proven the notion wrong as he did not hesitate to speak truth to power to his counters parts in the summit. President Sissoco Embaló, who was just elected late last year, while condemning the coup in Mali, told his counterparts that vying for “third term is also a coup.”
President Alassane Ouattara, of Côte d’Ivoire and Alpha Condé, of Guinea Conakry, joined the rest of the regional leaders in condemning the coup against former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, have plans to contest for a third term in their respective countries.
According to President Embaló, the regional bloc should adopt a similar attitude in condemning coup toward leaders who manipulate their constitutions to extend their stay in power, adding that “third terms are also coups d ‘état.” His comments, which were read as sabotage, were not well received by President Alassane Ouattara and President Alpha Condé. Alassane Ouattara is officially contesting for the third time in Côte d’Ivoire, while Alpha Condé is already presumed a candidate.
While President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria preferred to receive the comment with amusement, smiling at all ends, the displeasure of the main parties to whom the innuendos are directed could be seen.
Alpha Condé won’t even comment on the matter, but Ouattara could not pelt his displeasure with the remarks from a person he considered to be “to his younger son.” President Sissoco Embaló, who would not permit himself to be disparaged, was quick to interrupt President Ouattara, reminding him that they were counterparts and both heads of states and that there was “no small country” in that conference, Jeune Afrique who are much familiar with the story claimed.
Both President Condé and Ouattara sided with President Embalo’s, Domingos Simões Pereira, in the disputed presidential elections in Guinea-Bissau, in December 2019. The relationships between Embalo and his counterparts have since remain dreadful.Source; Jeune Afrique/
Main Photo: President of Guinea Bissau, Umaro Mokhtar Sissoco Embaló /Club of Mozambique