Former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, named diplomat in Mali crisis

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Former Nigerian President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has been appointed a special envoy by the regional Economic Community for West African States, ECOWAS; to help mediate in Mali’s political crisis.

GEJ – as he is known back home – is expected to mediate between the embattled president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, opposition leaders, civil society actors as well as other major stakeholders as the crisis continues to deepen.

His appointment was announced by Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, chairperson of the ECOWAS Commission. The bloc has last month dispatched a mission to meet with President Keita.

Speaking on his willingness to serve, Jonathan said ” I would like once again to reassure our people of my willingness to continue the dialogue and reiterate my readiness to take all measures in my power to calm the situation.”

Protests by an opposition umbrella group got to a head late last week extending through the weekend as protesters reignited calls for the president to resign. Their demands are mainly centred on insecurity and disputed elections.

Recent protests led to the loss of four lives as police clashed with people in the streets. The state broadcaster was attacked as was the parliament – the latter was looted. The ruling party offices was also attacked.

The president has since reiterated his call for dialogue with the opposition and also took the move of dissolving the Constitutional Court – which action seems to have done little to appease the protesters.

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