The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has decided to lift the sanctions imposed on Mali after the coup that overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta on August 18. The news was made public on Tuesday, October 6, just a few hours after the announcement of the appointment of a transitional government, which was one of the conditions required by ECOWAS prior to the lifting of sanctions.
In the declaration available today and dated October 5, signed by Ghanaian President Nana Akufo Addo, current president of ECOWAS, Mali’s neighbors say they “take into account” “significant progress towards constitutional normalization” in this country. weakened for years by jihadist and inter-community violence. ECOWAS explains that it took this decision “to support this process. They also call on all bilateral and multilateral partners to support Mali ”, we read in the text.
These sanctions, first and foremost a commercial and financial embargo, were imposed on Mali on August 20. They only highlighted the country’s economic difficulties, weakened by the coronavirus crisis, then by the financial consequences of the political crisis. Indeed, since this decision, Mali has seen itself unable to trade with its neighbors and economic partners from the countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), and in particular Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Burkina Faso. Concretely, it was no longer possible to send money to one of the other seven countries of the Union, or to receive it. From now on, Malians will again be allowed to travel in the sub-region, flights will also resume and companies will be able to breathe, resume payments to their suppliers and vice versa.
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In their declaration, Mali’s neighbors ask the new transitional authorities to “quickly implement” the other decisions taken by ECOWAS, “in particular the release of all military and civilian officials arrested” during the coup d’état. August 18.
They also call again for the “dissolution” of the National Council for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), the body set up by the military who overthrew President Keïta in a coup that officially did not made a victim.
West African leaders note several advances made in recent weeks, including the appointment of a transitional president, Bah Ndaw, a retired colonel, and that of a former foreign minister, Moctar Ouane, as prime minister.
They also welcome the renunciation by the military of a major prerogative initially vested in the head of the junta, Colonel Assimi Goïta: invested transitional vice-president, he will not be able to replace the president of the transition in case of impediment of the latter, according to the charter drawn up by the military.
This fundamental document sets the duration of the transition at 18 months, which ECOWAS wanted as short as possible. The charter assigns as objectives for the transition the restoration of security throughout the territory, two-thirds of which are outside the control of the central power, “the recovery of the State” and the organization of general elections.
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