THUR, JULY 16 2020-theG&BJournal-The former Nigeria President, Ebele Goodluck Jonathan landed in the Malian capital, Bamako on Wednesday to begin mediation efforts between the country’s President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and protesters calling for his resignation.
Demonstrations by the protesters has been ongoing since June, and interspersed with violence and crackdown by state anti-terrorist special forces (FORSAT). There are reports of more protests today with a bigger one on Friday. Opposition leaders are asking protesters to use Friday’s prayers to pay homage to those who have fallen victims of the crackdown by anti-terrorist special forces deployed by Keita’s government.
The demonstrations began on June 5 when the country’s opposition called for the resignation of Boubacar Keita over problems with the outcome of parliamentary elections in March and April, perceived discontent over the government’s handling of Mali’s jihadist insurgency and worsening economic situation.
Escalating violence in the country drew the attention of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the EU and the UN who subsequently issued a joint statement last Sunday expressing their concern.
ECOWAS consequently appointed ex-president Goodluck Jonathan as a special envoy to lead the sub-regional body’s mediation mission in the country.
A statement before his departure from Nigeria said, ‘’as a Special Envoy Dr. Jonathan is to facilitate dialogue with all principal stakeholders in Mali, including President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, opposition leaders, civil society as well as religious organisations, towards resolving the worsening socio-political situation in the West African country.’’