Member states representing the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have imposed new sanctions on Mali, following the political crisis that has engulfed the country.
CEOAFRICA gathered that among the latest sanctions to be implemented against the country, include withdrawal of all ECOWAS Ambassadors in Mali, closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Mali; suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between 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 involves 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.
The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is said to represent his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari at the Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government held in Accra, Ghana on Sunday.
According to Osibanjo, ECOWAS has resolved never to accept Coups de’tats; or unconstitutional takeover of government of any member country.
He said, “it’s very evident that there is very strong resolve, which is why we are here today. We expect that the actions that will be taken will point the junta in Mali in the right direction.”
“I think ECOWAS has shown that it has not lost its bite where there are concerns about issues of good governance and democratic enterprises in the sub-region, which is why sanctions against Guinea and Mali were imposed.”
The Extraordinary Summit, also rejected the transition schedule proposed by the Malian military junta, insisting that “the proposed chronogram for a transition is totally unacceptable”.
A Communique to that effect, which DAILY POST got access to, disclosed that the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government has instructed all Community institutions to take steps to implement these sanctions with immediate effect.
The communique also noted that the sanctions will only be gradually lifted after an acceptable and agreed transition chronogram is finalised and monitored-satisfactory progress is realised in the implementation of the chronogram for the elections.
Aside from Vice President Osinbajo and the Ghanaian President, who presided at the Summit, other West African leaders present at the Summit were Presidents 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.