Monday, 26 February 2024

Will ECOWAS and the AU lift the sanctions against Mali?

While it has reduced the duration of the transition to two years, the Malian military junta hopes to regain its place within ECOWAS and the African Union.

Last January, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had heavily sanctioned the Mali of Assimi Goïta : rupture of diplomatic relations of all the countries of the sub-region with Mali, closure of common borders, suspension of economic transactions between the countries of the area and Mali or freezing of Malian assets at the Central Bank of the States of the West Africa (BCEAO)… ECOWAS wanted to make Assimi Goïta understand that its roadmap meant “that an illegitimate transitional military government will hold the Malian people hostage over the next five years”.

Since then, Mali has reviewed its roadmap. ECOWAS validated the new transition period — estimated at 24 months — and partial lifting of economic sanctions against Bamako. But several sanctions are still pending, including those affecting members of the military junta, most of whom are banned from traveling.

Lift the sanctions to better move forward

Gathered in Lomé, Togo, for a meeting of the Transition Support Group, the Malian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdoulaye Diop, called for the situation to be reviewed by ECOWAS and the African Union. He insists: “One of the major priorities of the Transitional government remains the organization of free, transparent and credible elections with a view to the return to a peaceful and secure constitutional order within 24 months”. However, these sanctions are hampering the progress of the Transition.

Mali is still suspended from ECOWAS and the African Union. “The government of Mali is asking for these measures to be lifted in order to promote full cooperation with all partners,” explains Abdoulaye Diop.

Last Sunday, the ECOWAS mediator in the Malian political crisis, Goodluck Jonathan, went to Bamako to follow the implementation of the recommendations resulting from the last extraordinary summit of heads of state of the West African institution.

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