A Weekly Highlight on Political, Security, Socio-Political and Health Happenings Across the West African Region – July 29th to August 4th 2022
MALI, BURKINA FASO, SENEGAL, GUINEA
In the week under review, key highlights focus on developments on the case of the 49 Ivorian
soldiers, the 2022 legislative elections in Senegal, responses or reactions to the French
President’s African tour, the FNDC issues in Guinea, and on the health scenes, the persistent rise
in the number of confirmed new cases of COVID across the region.
Macron’s African Tour
In line with French President, Emmanuel Macron’s African tour to Cameroon, Benin and Guinea
Bissau to strengthen bilateral ties between these countries, Macron was received in Benin
Republic by President Patrice Talon on July 27. In Benin, the two presidents used the occassion
to renew their friendship, as well as discuss the restitution of cultural property and the threats of
armed terrorist groups affecting northern Benin. During a press conference in Guinea Bissau,
Macron expressed France’s support to the development of the country’s agricultural sector,
respect of ECOWAS in regional matters, and solidarity with the region in fighting against
terrorism. On Mali, he highlighted that the military junta in government is no longer fighting
terrorism which prompted the withdrawal of French forces from Mali and also reiterated
ECOWAS responsibility to help the Malian people “build a stable environment” to fight jihadist
Mali sends a message to Macron
The remarks made by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron during his African tour,
precisely in Guinea Bissau on July 28, 2022, have yielded responses from the Malian
Transitional Government. During his press conference, the French Head of State reiterated
erroneous accusations by asserting that the Malian authorities maintain relations with a
paramilitary group. Another was on the exercise of violence by the Malian authorities targeting a
specific ethnic group.
In response, the Transitional Government has condemned with the utmost rigor these “hateful
and defamatory” remarks by the French President and called national and international opinion
to witness these serious accusations which are likely to arouse ethnic hatred and undermine their
living together, cohesion, as well as harmony among Malians. The Malian press release  underlines that “these subversive remarks by the French President vindicate the Transitional Government which, rightly, put an end to defense cooperation with France for its unsatisfactory results in the fight against terrorism in Mali”. 
French President Emmanuel Macron was thus demanded “to definitively abandon his neocolonial, paternalistic and condescending posture” with the understanding that no one can love Mali better than the Malians themselves.
ECOWAS Mediator Praises the Transition Process
The ECOWAS Mediator, former Nigerian President Goodluck JONATHAN, was in Bamako from July 20 to 21 to monitor and evaluate the Transition process. During his 48-hour stay, he met with the Malian authorities and members of the local Transition monitoring committee. 
It would be recalled that the noteworthy progress made by the transition government enhanced the recent lifting of economic and financial sanctions by ECOWAS and WAEMU. However, ECOWAS had upheld other sanctions such as Mali’s suspension from decision-making institutions, until a peaceful return to constitutional order was attained.
Mandated to continue exchanges with Malian authorities, the Mediator noted the resumption of economic activities in post-sanction Mali upon his arrival at the airport. He acknowledged the progress made by the authorities and hoped that it will be maintained for the organization of the elections to allow the democratically elected government to take the reins of the country.
An International Arrest Warrant Against Former Prime Minister
An international arrest warrant against former leaders of IBK’s regime was issued on July 25, 2022 by the Supreme Court of Mali. The former leaders involved include Boubou Cissé, former Prime Minister and former Minister of Economy and Finance of IBK; Tièman Hubert Coulibaly, former Minister of National Defence; Mamadou Igor Diarra, ex-Minister of Economy and Finance, and Babaly Bah, ex-boss of BMS-SA. The case is related to the purchase of equipment under a public contract known as PARAMOUNT, a part of the implementation of the Orientation and Programming Law for Homeland Security . Official investigation reports established overcharges of 40 billion CFA francs ($72 million), in the case related to the purchase of presidential aircraft and military equipment.
The reason for the international nature of the arrest warrant must be linked to the current residences of the concerned former leaders being outside Mali. Former Malian Prime Minister Boubou Cissé took residence in Côte d’Ivoire since December 2021, after having been accused of wanting to destabilize the transition. Tieman Hubert Coulibaly, former Minister of Defense, took refuge in France after being suspected in the framework of the Military Orientation and Programming Law.