In an interview with Jowharat the EU-AU summit in Brussels, Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo, said the withdrawal of French-led forces from Mali required “new arrangements” in the regional fight against terrorism. The current head of the West African bloc, ECOWAS, demanded the departure of “foreign mercenaries” from the region and explained that negotiations are underway with the Malian Military Council on a timetable for elections. He described the junta’s proposal for a four-year transition period as “clearly unacceptable” and said a 12-month transition period would be an “acceptable framework”, while stressing that this was not an official position of ECOWAS.
Asked about Burkina Faso, which underwent a coup last month, the Ghanaian president expressed optimism about a quick transition to civilian rule, noting that the junta had “moved very quickly” to engage in consultations.
He also warned coup leaders in Guinea, which saw a military takeover last September, that new ECOWAS sanctions could be imminent if they did not present a timetable for the transition “as soon as possible”.
Finally, Akufo-Addo insisted that military coups in West Africa were unacceptable, saying, “We don’t want this infection to spread.” He added that the issue of the third presidential term was also “a matter of concern” for the region.