ECOWAS imposes harsher sanctions on Mali, rejects Military junta’s transition schedule

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Sunday announced more stringent sanctions against the military junta in Mali over its continued breach of Democratic practices.

Leaders of ECOWAS gathered in an extraordinary Summit on Sunday in Accra, Ghana. In the communique after the summit, the regional body said the proposed chronogram by the Malian transitional authorities that set the duration of the transition for a total of five and a half years is “totally unacceptable.” They agreed to withdraw all member states Ambassadors in Mali, and also close land and air borders between ECOWAS Member States and Mali.

“The other sanctions include the closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Mali, the suspension of all financial and economic transactions between ECOWAS member states and Mali, with the exception of essential consumer goods,” said the communique.

The sanctions specifically excluded the supply of pharmaceutical and medical supplies, including materials needed for the control of COVID-19, petroleum products, and electricity.

ECOWAS instructed the freeze of all assets of Mali in the ECOWAS central bank, a freeze of assets of the Malian state, state enterprises, and parastatals in commercial banks, and the suspension of Mali from all financial assistance and transactions from all financial institutions.

The ECOWAS authority instructed all community institutions to take steps to implement the sanctions with immediate effect.

“The sanctions will be gradually lifted only after an acceptable and agreed chronogram is finalized and monitored satisfactory progress is realized in the implementation of the chronogram for the elections,” the communique added.

ECOWAS explained that the sanctions were necessary to facilitate the process of the return to constitutional rule in Mali, which is necessary for peace, stability, and growth as well as to protect the populations.

Last November, ECOWAS imposed sanctions on the Malian transitional authorities in response to their claim of inability to meet the transition deadline of February 2022 for holding elections, including a travel ban and a freeze on financial assets.

ECOWAS also expressed concerns about the slow progress of the transition process in Guinea, four months after the coup.

Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says leaders of member states in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have shown strong resolve and commitment to issues of good governance and democracy in the sub-region, with its stand against unconditional seizure of power


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