Nigeria says Mali transition govt yet to satisfy regional demands

WEST African states are not ready to lift sanctions on Mali because the leaders of an August 18 coup have not yet satisfied all the demands for a handover of power to a fully civilian government, according to Nigeria’s president.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said it would lift sanctions, which have caused imports to the landlocked country to slump 30%, once a civilian prime minister was named, as was the case on Sunday, among other demands.

President Bah Ndaw, a retired colonel appointed president of the transition, named veteran diplomat Moctar Ouane as interim prime minister.

But in a briefing with Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, the ECOWAS envoy to Mali, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, said there were still “grey areas” to discuss.

“According to the Special Envoy, the military leaders are yet to satisfy ECOWAS demand of a full civilian as Vice President, and what his roles would be in government,” a statement after the meeting said.

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Last week, retired colonel Bah Ndaw was sworn in as president, and Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the coup that ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, was sworn in as vice president.

The statement said heads of state from the region could confer again to discuss the outstanding issues. – Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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