“Given your position as the former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the great role and contributions your tenure offered to the maintenance of peace, security and stability in our region, I have the honor, in consultation with the Chair of the Authority, H.E. Issoufou Mahamadou, President of the Republic of Niger, to communicate to you the decision to appoint you as ECOWAS Special Envoy for the sociopolitical crisis in Mali,” Nigeria’s Premium Times quoted a letter signed by ECOWAS Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou as saying.
In a statement issued by his media adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, yesterday, the sub-regional body disclosed that Jonathan’s appointment was aimed at resolving the worsening socio-political situation in Mali.
As a special envoy, the former President will facilitate dialogue with major stakeholders in Mali, including President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, opposition leaders, civil society and religious organisations towards resolving the socio-political crisis in the country.
Mali has been hit by protests that erupted last month demanding President Keita’s resignation, according to The New Humanitarian news agency’s website.
The protests broke out due to anger over the outcome of parliamentary polls held in March and April and dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of an insurgency as well as the country’s worsening economic situation, according to the Premium Times.
Mali has witnessed political tensions over the disputed legislative election in March as some of the results were later overturned by the country’s constitutional court in favor of Keita’s party, triggering angry protests in various cities.
Political and community-related disputes continue to fuel tensions in northern Mali, undermining the implementation of the peace agreement.