Relief as ECOWAS lifts sanction on Mali 2-month after coup de’tat
Many Malians heaved a sigh of relief on Tuesday as the leaders of the sub-regional bloc Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) has lifted the sanction placed on the landlocked country in the wake of the military coup that led to the overthrow of the civilian government two months ago.
The West African coast economic group had imposed wide-ranging sanctions on the country following the 18th August military coup, which toppled the government of former President, Ibrahim Keita.
Ghana’s President and Chairman of ECOWAS, Nana Akufo-Addo, announced the lifting of the sanctions after Mali announced 25-member Transition Government on Monday.
The 18-month transition government is headed a retired Colonel. Bah Ndaw 70, with military junta leader, Assimi Goita as vice President and former Foreign Minister Moctar Ouane as Prime Minister.
The position of National security, defence, National Reconciliation and Regional Administration in the new government are all headed by military officers.
Akufo-Addo, however, called on the Mali government to comply with other demands by the regional body, including the dissolution of the ruling military Council and release of detainees.
“The political transition will last 18 months starting from 15 September, 2020. Once a civilian led transition is put in place, ECOWAS will support the Republic of Mali towards the restoration of constitutional order, in line with its relevant Protocol.
“Sanctions will be lifted when the Transition President and the Prime Minister are effectively designated. The Heads of States and Government took note of the recent nomination and swearing-in of Mr. Bah N’daw as a civilian President of the transition. They congratulate the President of the Transition and express ECOWAS Support for the implementation of his mission.
“The Heads of State and Government also took note of the nomination of Moctar Ouane, a civilian, as Prime Minister of the Transition. The nomination of the President and the Prime Minister of the Transition should lead to the formation of the government.
“Taking into consideration these important decisions for the normalization of constitutional order in Mali and in view of the need to support this process, the Heads of State and Government decide to lift the sanctions imposed on Mali. They call on all bilateral and multilateral partners to also support Mali,” Akufo-Addo added.
The sub-regional bloc has taken a hardline on the military junta, shutting borders and halting some financial flows to the landlocked country following the August military coup which ousted the civilian government of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and insisted on staying in power for three years to supervise a fresh election.