The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has announced fresh penalties against the Republic of Mali.
Mali has been engulfed with some political crisis recently, a development that was frowned at by both the ECOWAS and African Union.
Naija News recalls that the country’s President and prime minister were at some point last year detained by soldiers in an army camp following a controversial government reshuffle.
President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane had led an interim government that was installed after a coup in August 2021 under the threat of regional sanctions.
Events that followed, however, puts the country’s election scheduled for 2022 in doubt.
Adding to some impositions earlier in response to the crisis in Mali, ECOWAS on Sunday said it has withdrawn all ECOWAS Ambassadors in Mali, closed land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Mali; suspended all commercial and financial transactions between the ECOWAS Member States and Mali, with the exception of the following products: essential consumer goods; pharmaceutical products; medical supplies and equipment, including materials for the control of COVID-19 products, and electricity.
Other punitive measures against the military junta involve freezing of assets of Mali in ECOWAS Central Banks; freezing assets of the Malian State and the State Enterprises and Parastatals in Commercial Banks, as well as suspension of Mali from all financial assistance and transactions from financial institutions, Naija News understands.
Looking into the crisis in Guinea, ECOWAS noted that it remained concerned about the slow progress of the transition process four months after the coup.
It, however, condemned the absence of a chronogram for the election and the non-setting up of the National Council of Transition (CNT).
As a follow up to this, ECOWAS directed that a mission be dispatched to Conakry to discuss the transition.
On his part, while declaring the Summit open, Chairman of ECOWAS, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, commended all West African leaders for their commitment to the growth of the sub-region.
He said, “as you did through the entire year of 2021, you continue to demonstrate your commitment to responding to urgent and critical evolving situations in the region.
“This is the 6th Extraordinary Summit since I assumed the chair of the Authority that Your Excellencies have participated in concerning the vexed issues of Mali and Guinea. It is a strong testimony to your leadership and concern to the progress of ECOWAS.”
Naija News reports that Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari was represented at the meeting held in Ghana by his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo.
Other West African leaders present at the Summit include Pesident Macky Sall of Senegal; George Weah of Liberia; Patrice Talon of Benin Republic; Roch Marc Christian Kaboré of Burkina Faso, and Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire.
Other Heads of State present include Umaro Embalò of the Republic of Guinea Bissau; Mohamed Bazoum of Niger Republic; Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, and the Vice President of The Gambia, Isatou Touray.
The session was also attended by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who is the ECOWAS Mediator for Mali; the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou; among other representatives of international organisations.
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