Obasanjo: Mali Junta must return to barracks, hails Senegal polls
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, a member of the African Union (AU) committee of Wise men, wants the AU to tell Mali’s new military junta to go back to the barracks.
Speaking to West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR) Sunday evening in Dakar, Senegal, the former Nigerian leader said the coup makers in Mali should understand “military coup is no longer fashionable’’ in Africa.
Obasanjo, an ex-General who himself first came to power 1976 after a 1975 military coup, called for the AU to go beyond condemnation by taking concrete actions against the junta in Bamako including sanctions.
At the same time, the African Union observation mission in Senegal has praised the conduct of Sunday’s second round presidential election.
Incumbent President, who has ruled the West African nation for 12 year, faced his former Prime Minister Macky Sall in a runoff that was generally peaceful in a country with 5 million registered voters.
The head of the Mission, ex-President Obasanjo told journalists in Dakar on Sunday that “we are satisfied with the preparations that were made for the election.”
He said Sunday’s polls went on fairly well and that that has not been any major incident that could affect the overall credibility of the results.
The AU Special envoy said the polls were peaceful, free and smooth, saying that the ultimate credit should go to the Senegalese people for conducting themselves in an orderly manner.
According to him, the just ended election showed that Africa was getting more democratically mature.
Asked about his advice to incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade, Obasnajo praised him as being a democrat and expressed the hope that the 85-year-old Senegalese leader would accept the verdict of the people when the results of the March 25th election are announced.