Sep 25, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Ecowas imposes sanctions on Mali over delayed transition to civilian rule

The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has announced tougher sanctions against Mali after its military junta failed to meet its deadline for transitioning to civil government.

With immediate effect, Mali will be completely cut off from all Ecowas- Institutions.

All countries of the 16-member West African bloc were ordered to close their borders – both on land and in the air – with the landlocked state and all trade with. to refrain from it.

The decision was made by the heads of state and government of Ecowas at an extraordinary summit in the Ghanaian capital Accra on Sunday.

Assets frozen

In a communique, the heads of state and government ordered the freezing of Mali’s assets at its regional central and commercial banks and the suspension of all financial aid from Ecowas financial institutions.

However, the communique provides for a few exceptions in a select group of products that include essential consumer goods, pha medical and medical supplies, and products related to the response to Covid-19.

The summit comes after the Malian junta puts forward a new plan that addresses the of the bloc, which provided civil administration in the country until the end of February 2022.

Mali had come into conflict with Ecowas in two coups in the past two years. It began in August 2020 when a group of soldiers led by Colonel Assimi Goita overthrew the then democratically elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Delayed elections

Nine months later, the soldiers staged A second coup, the overthrow of the civilian-led government it had installed in the face of threats of sanctions.

The military-led transitional government was then given 18 months to hold elections and transfer power to one Civilians transfer administration. But the military argues that there is not enough time to meet the deadline.

Last week the military developed their own plan that allows five years for the transfer of power.

Ecowas- Leaders described the proposal as “unacceptable” and stated that it “simply means that an illegitimate military transitional government will take the Malian people hostage.”

Ecowas first imposed sanctions on the Malian people on November 7 Junta. 2021, amid signs of reluctance to meet deadlines.

About 150 junta and interim government officials were given individual sanctions, including asset freezes and a travel ban.

Loud According to Sunday’s communique, these sanctions would be upheld along with the new economic and financial sanctions.

Eleven heads of state attended the summit, including the presidents of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Togo . Heads of state and government from Guinea-Bissau, Benin and Gambia were also present.

Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osibanjo represented President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Ecowas summit was chaired by the Ghanaian President Nana Addo. instead of Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Further orders

The communique states that the sanctions will be implemented immediately and will remain in force and will only be gradually lifted after an acceptable and agreed chronogram has been completed monitored satisfactory progress in its implementation for the elections. ”

The bloc also pointed to the possibility of military intervention, noting that, given the potentially destabilizing effects on Mali and the region being brought about by the transition has arisen, decided to immediately activate the Ecowas Standby Force, which must be “prepared for all eventualities”.

After the decision of the summit, the central bank of the seven French-speaking Ecowas countries, known as West African Economic and Monetary Union (U EMOA), announced the immediate suspension of Mali.

‘Illegal and illegitimate sanctions’

The junta did not waste any Z. eit to respond to the decision, calling the sanctions “illegal and illegitimate”. “

In a rather defiant statement, it said the bloc’s stance was at odds with the efforts of the transitional government and its willingness to engage in dialogue to find a compromise with Ecowas.

Mali criticized the economic embargo imposed by Ecowas on the grounds that it was a “clear violation” of the relevant contract. They also criticized the decision to freeze the country’s assets, noting that the measures regarding the central bank cannot apply as it is an independent body over which every member state has sovereign rights.

The Malian government also accused Ecowas of being exploited by “extra-regional powers with ulterior motives”.

They also announced the withdrawal of their ambassadors in all Ecowas member states and the closing of their borders in retaliation. It said it was taking the necessary measures to ensure the normal care of its citizens.

“The government of Mali condemns these illegal and unlawful sanctions imposed by UEMOA and Ecowas, solidarity and pan-African organizations, In the strongest possible way, ”said the statement by the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization.

The junta also warned against any attempt to station foreign forces on its soil, apparently in relation to the activation of the Ecowas standby -Troop. She called on her defense and security forces and the population to be vigilant and mobilize.