By Paul Ejime
The political crisis in Mali is evolving very rapidly and dangerously too.
ECOWAS and partners must recalibrate their intervention strategies to make their prescriptions more laser focused, unbiased, inclusive, implementable, and with self-correcting mechanism.
The flawed Ouagadou and Algiers Agreements must be replaced with clear/unambiguous Peace Accord/s that are implementable with consequences for any breaches.
This requires structured and sincere stakeholder engagements beginning with a deep knowledge and understanding of the issues at stake.
The interests of the PEOPLE OF MALI must be at the centre of all mediation efforts.
It is not rocket science, given that ECOWAS had acquitted itself creditably in similar circumstances in the past. The template and the check list of lessons learnt are available.
There is the need to deploy crisis/conflict management/resolution tools in a creative/ innovative manner for greater effectiveness and efficiency; to lower the political tension, regain the confidence of the population and with the people’s welfare at the centre of the governance equation!
No doubt, Mali requires external support to exit conflict, but Malians themselves must take the greatest responsibility and do the heavy lifting.
External interventions or mediation should not hijack, override or drown the voice of the people.
France, the former colonial power in Mali must also clarify its role and interests in Francophone Africa.
If unresolved and quickly too, the Mali crises could spread across the Sahel and the ECOWAS region. But it is also true that the rest of the World does not owe Mali or Malians a living!
Paul Ejime is an international affairs analyst