Mali interim gov’ts’ new elite corps: what’s its mission?
Mali’s transitional government has begun moves to implement some of the decisions reached by ECOWAS leaders at last weekend’s special summit in Burkina Faso capital, Ouagadougou.
While calling for the International Criminal Court at the Hague to investigate "war crimes" in Mali, the ECOWAS leaders also urged Mali to build a national unity government by July 31 that could "implement a roadmap to end the crisis".
First, the transitional government in Bamako has put together a task force it says is to protect officials and institutions of the transitional government.
According to WADR’s Bamako Correspondent Abdou Karim Ba, an official press release from the Malian government on Monday announced the creation of a 1,200-man independent elite corps in charge of protecting the institutions of the republic.
Under the direct authority of the Prime Minister, this task force will handle the protection of the Head of State, the Prime Minister, the president of the National Assembly and the presidents of other institutions of the republic.
It says that the taskforce is set up to answer to the request expressed by the leaders of the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS) during the mini summit held last Saturday in Ouagadougou.
Last Week, the UN Security Council turned down an ECOWAS request to back the deployment of a 3,000 strong sub-regional intervention force to northern Mali.
Members of this special task force will come from the last promotion of the national gendarmerie and police academies inaugurated on July 5, 2012.
The communiqué further states that there was a common accord with President Dioncounda Traorè during Prime Minister Cheikh Modibo Diarra’s trips overseas when he requested the assistance of friendly countries to heightened the training of the elite corps and supplying of state of the art military equipment.
The government sees the first steps it is making as positive and it hopes to see them implemented at the soonest.
During their summit held on Saturday in Ouagadougou, the West African Heads of State urgently requested ECOWAS and the United Nations to send an African task force to Mali.
Its first mission should have been to protect the Institutions of the republic, starting with Dioncounda Traore ,the President of the transition still in Paris more than a month after being assaulted in his office in the Koulouba State Palace.
But Correspondent Ba says it still remains unclear how news of this special task force will be received by the Malian people.
Anyway the announcement of the creation of this military task force comes as Jibril Bassole, the Burkina Foreign Minister and Ali Coulibali , Ivory Coast Minister of African Integration have been sent to Paris by ECOWAS to meet with the transitional President Dioncounda Traore.
It is stated that the Ouagadougou summit has put more pressure on the authorities of Mali’s transitional government by requesting the Prime Minister to set up a government of national union before July 31, in order to beef up the transition and tackle the crisis in Northern Mali.
ECOWAS top mediator, Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore, told the meeting of politicians, religious and trade union leaders in Ouagadougou that a new government must "confront what he called, the terrorist peril in the north".
The Chairman of ECOWAS, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara said the sub-region cannot tolerate the partition of a brother country.
The weekend meeting was also attended by the leaders of Niger, Togo, Benin and Nigeria.