The West African regional bloc ECOWAS has threatened to sanction Mali if moves towards resolving the political crisis there are hampered.
On Monday ECOWAS leaders after a summit proposed a four-point plan to resolve Mali’s political crisis to be implemented within 10 days.
Their plan recommended that 31 members of parliament whose elections were contested step down and that by-elections be held.
The leaders also called for the creation of a government of national unity that would include members of the opposition and civil society while an inquiry into the deaths of protesters this month take place.
“The Heads of State… express deep concerns on this situation likely to increase instability in Mali, and in the sub-region,” ECOWAS said in a statement after the meeting.
But the opposition is not impressed by the moves towards resolving the political crisis insisting, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resigns.
“We take note, but we really believe that this is not the will of the people, it is not what we expect,” said coalition spokesman Nouhoum Togo, who said it was in the process of reviewing the recommendations.
Meanwhile President Keïta has appointed a slimmed down cabinet to work towards a government of national unity.
According to a statement from his office the new cabinet would include the Prime Minister Boubou Cissé and six other ministers.
Earlier this month President Keita dissolved the constitutional court following unrest due to ongoing protests.
The top court is at the centre of controversy after it overturned provisional results for parliamentary elections in March.
Protesters have accused President Keita of failing to tackle Mali’s major crises including jihadist conflict, an economic crisis and the disputed elections.
Mali has for years now struggled to overcome the activities of terrorists with the region remaining unstable since 2012 when jihadist fighters seized the desert north of the country.
Although French troops helped to recapture the north, violence still continues. Not even the presence of United Nations troops will help restore order.
Keita, who was re-elected in 2018 for a second five-year term, has struggled to address the security crisis.