The phone of Mohamed Salem Ould Merzoug, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, rang in the middle of the night. Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani, informed of Assimi Goïta’s decision to leave the G5 Sahel, asks him to leave urgently for Bamako to play the emissaries and try to reason with the president of the Malian transition. The Mauritanian head of state has a message for the head of the junta: he should have warned his Sahelian counterparts beforehand.
Mali: the political class relieved but cautious after the lifting of ECOWAS sanctions
Earlier in the evening of May 15, when Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga, the spokesperson of the Malian government, announces that his country is withdrawing from the military alliance, Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani is in Abu Dhabi, where he attended the funeral of Sheikh Khalifa ben Zayed Al-Nahyane, before talking, on the sidelines funeral, with French President Emmanuel Macron. “We were completely taken aback by Goïta’s decision,” confirms a Mauritanian diplomatic source.