ECOWAS Parliament seeks end to crisis in Mali

Adoba Echono, Abuja

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The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Parliament  has called on the Malian authorities to intensify efforts in fostering peace and reconciliation among State actors in the wake of recent deadly attacks in the country.

The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Mr. Moustapha Cisse Lo, made the call when he led a delegation of parliamentarians on a fact finding mission to Mopti and Bamako in Mali on the situation of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs camps in the region.

The visit is aimed at creating an opportunity to express the Parliament’s solidarity with the Malian authorities following the large numbers of victims of terrorist attacks and communal clashes, most recently the one in Ogossagou (the Mopti region in Mali) in which almost two hundred people were killed.

Mr. Cisse Lo gave assurances that appropriate actions would be taken to finding lasting solutions to humanitarian crisis in the Sub-region.

For the ECOWAS Parliament, the plight of the vulnerable population groups, including the internally displaced in Mali, has been a constant source of concern.

Since the beginning of 2019, there has been an upsurge in insecurity in central Mali where recent deadly terrorist attacks and communal conflicts have triggered a new wave of displaced persons.

Fact Finding Mission
This situation has informed the decision by the ECOWAS Parliament to conduct a fact finding mission to Mali to review the condition of the internally displaced, especially those in Mopti and Bamako.

The Malian Minister of Health, Mr. Michel Sidibe, who was present with the delegation during the visit to Mopti, described the situation as quite the serious one.

Peace in the Region
He expressed hope that the efforts of the government to bring peace in the region would be successful because it has been found that unfortunately, the breakdown between communities have been displaced more than 50,000 in the region alone.

”These displaced people have been moving around and do not know where to go so we have established camps for assistance so they can have services such as access to shelter, water, food, health and also a temporary school so that children can have something to learn during this period but most of the people here want to go back home, they don’t want to stay here.

”I’m so happy that the ECOWAS Parliament is here to help in the fostering of peace and reconciliation because we believe that because we are one people from the same region and country so we cannot be divided.

”I think the health situation is a very difficult one because for most of the people, access is a major problem so what we have been trying to do is to position 8 million CFA to make sure those people suffering will have access to health aid especially the children”, the minister said

Open Government Partnership
According to Mr. Michel Sidibe, the Malian government has already begun working to bring together parties to ensure an open government partnership set up which will include some elders from different parts of the country to lead the fora for reconciliation and peace building especially between the more affected Fulani and Dogon tribes in the region.

Mali has been experiencing security challenges since March 2012, following a military coup by separatists and terrorists groups who occupied over two thirds of the country for almost one year.

 

Confidence Okwuchi