The Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is exploring the option of mutual compromise by all sides involved in the Mali political crisis.
Chairman of the authority and President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou, disclosed this after several hours of consultation with interested parties in the crisis by West African leaders at the capital of Mali, Bamako on Thursday.
He also said the Authority would do all it could to salvage the political situation.
The meeting, attended by President Muhammadu Buhari; Host President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Presidents Machy Sall of Senegal, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, listened to a brief by the ECOWAS Special Envoy, former President Goodluck Jonathan and leader of the opposition, Imam Mahmoud Dicko as well as representatives of opposition alliance, M5 and Civil Society Organisations.
According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the host President also briefed the Heads of State and government on the socio-political situation in the country, especially the disagreements that spiralled into protests and violence.
Speaking to newsmen on the outcome of the meeting, Issoufou said an extra-ordinary virtual meeting of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government would hold next Monday to further deliberate on the issues raised, with a view to finding lasting solution to the crisis.
He said the sub-regional leaders had already agreed there would be a need for a compromise to protect the peace and integrity of the nation, adding that allowing a political crisis to fester in Mali would affect the security situation in West Africa, especially neighbouring countries.
The ECOWAS Chairman commended former President, Jonathan, for accepting to lead an initial mission to the country to broker peace and make findings, while appreciating all the West African leaders who attended the meeting.
President Buhari returned to Nigeria after the meeting.