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ECOWAS MPs from Mali sworn in are not affected by the coup ---Opare Ansah

As the sub-regional leaders are working to restore constitutional order to Mali in the wake of a coup d’état that has seen the military at the helm of affairs, a member of Ghana’s delegation in the fourth Community Parliament, Fredrick Opare Ansah has revealed that lawmakers from Mali who had been sworn in already and are part of the fifth Parliament would not be affected. 

According to him there had been a similar situation in the third Community Legislature, where members of the Burkina Faso delegation to the Community Legislature had to stay on until a whole new arrangement came into place.   
The Suhum lawmaker revealed that when the dust had settled, and new members of a new House were elected before the Community Parliament went ahead and got into its fold a new delegation from Burkina Faso.  

“All of those arrangements have to be done in agreement with ECOWAS otherwise if you do anything in your country that ECOWAS does not accept, then the Community Parliament would also not accept those members you may try to bring in”.

He went on further to say that the development in Mali is most unfortunate as most of “us have been of the opinion that our sub-region is beyond the era of coup d’état, but it also serves as a warning to all of us that we should also listen to the voices of the people”. 

Again, the masses in Mali had been clamoring for a certain cause of action from the President for a while and with the military forcing him to resign,  and added that if this had been done willingly under civilian era, the democratic institutions could have easily continue running.

And lamented over the development and pointed out that the military for now are going to rule by decree and was not the best anyone wanted to see in the sub-region at this time.

“We want to see more stability, and Authority of Heads of States and Government need to sit up with regards to the situation in Mali, as Mali’s situation has persisted for far too long”.

 The former Community lawmaker noted that, probably, it is only about time that a more massive serious military force is formed for the defense and protection of Malians and for that matter  the sub-region.

As Mali has a long border in the Sahel, and proliferation of arms, ammunitions and of soldiers, militias to the sub-region is quite easy. The movement of people and weaponry across the loose borders is easy and to rely just on the forces of Mali would not be easy he said.

Mr. Opare Ansah pointed out that France has a base somewhere in Mali and keeping such force strengthened to protect their interest and emphasized that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) needs to take a firm and solid position. 

According to him, he remember making a point previously in the ECOWAS Parliament that our coastal belt are a bit better patrolled by the navy, that is with countries that have border with the ocean. Adding, with the Sahel border, it is about time we solve the regions border problems. We could have a special force trained and equipped to deal with the incidents of insurgences coming down from that region”.   
Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/   

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