By Bright Ntramah
The Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS has slapped fresh sanctions on Mali following failure to meet the February 27, 2022 deadline for transfer of power to a Civilian Government.
The new sanctions include withdrawal of all ECOWAS Ambassadors accredited to Mali, Closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Mali, suspension of all commercial and financial transactions.
The rest are a Freeze of assets of Mali in ECOWAS Central Banks and the suspension of Mali from all financial assistance and transactions from financial institutions.
ECOWAS has therefore instructed all Community Institutions to take steps to implement these sanctions with immediate effect.
These were contained in a Communiqué issued after the Extraordinary Summit in Accra.
Bright Ntramah reports that Mali was sanctioned due to the military’s inability to meet the 27 February, 2022 deadline issued by ECOWAS to organize elections and return the country to civilian rule.
The Junta on January 8, 2022 submitted a new chronogram scheduling the conduct of the Presidential elections for the end of December 2026, setting the duration of the transition for five and a half years.
ECOWAS found the proposed chronogram for a transition totally unacceptable. It is for these reasons that new sanctions have been imposed on Mali.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou read the sanctions.
”These sanctions have been put in place to facilitate the process of a return to constitutional order in Mali which is necessary for peace, stability and growth. By excluding essential basic goods and services, the sanctions have been designed to avoid impact on the population”.
”In addition, in view of the potentially destabilizing impact on Mali and the region, as a result of this transition in Mali, the Authority decides to immediately activate the ECOWAS Standby Force, to enhance its preparedness, should the need arise”.
Jean-Claude Kassi Brou justified the sanctions saying it will facilitate the process for a return to constitutional order in Mali.
The Authority called on the African Union, the United Nations and other partners to support the process for the enforcement of these sanctions and continue to provide support for an acceptable political transition. It invited the neighboring countries which are not members of ECOWAS to support the implementation of the sanctions.
Regarding Guinea, the Authority expressed concern about the slow pace of the transition process four months after the coup.
The Authority regrets the absence of an electoral calendar and the National Council of 6 Transitions (CNT). It also directs a mission to Conakry to discuss the transition process with the transition authorities.
ECOWAS Institutional Reforms:
Concerning the Institutional Reforms of ECOWAS, the Authority instructs the President of the Commission to take all necessary measures for the new statutory appointees to take office on 1st July 2022 at the end of the tenure of the current Management. This implies the finalization of the allocation of remaining statutory positions and the launch of the recruitment process.
Press Release : Final Communique on Summit on Mali – Eng 080122