West African leaders have called for $25 million in international aid to help secure the upcoming elections in Mali. As Guinea-Bissau also prepares for elections, leaders want an end to international sanctions on that country. Heads of state from the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, are meeting this week in the Nigerian capital ahead of elections in Mali and Guinea-Bissau, two countries in turmoil. After the French-led invasion of northern Mali in January that wrested territories away from Islamist militant groups, nationwide presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for July 28.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said Wednesday that ECOWAS will need the support of countries outside Africa to help Mali have elections that are free, fair and non-violent.
“We should use this opportunity to appeal to the international community to intensify their assistance to bridge the financial gap of $25 million for the provision of critical logistical support, in particular air access, deployment of as many international and national observers for the 28th of July elections in Mali,” he said.
Full Article: Nigeria Seeks $25M for Mali Elections.