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Sanctions on Mali remain after ECOWAS summit

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is linking the lifting of sanctions against Mali to the nomination of a civilian to lead the country’s transition.

The persistent vagueness of the identity of those responsible for leading the political transition in Mali is playing against the military junta that overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK) on 18 August. On Tuesday, 15 September 2020, the ECOWAS, at an advisory meeting on the political situation in Mali, remained firm in its position.

Following the closed-door meeting in Aburi in eastern Ghana, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, African Integration and Nigerians Living Abroad, Kalla Ankouraou said, “We think this summit will be the last because there was only one point about which the junta asked to give it time to report to the other actors. They called for the embargo to be phased out, and the summit said [it would be done] tomorrow at midnight, if they appoint civilians to the posts of president and prime minister of the transition.”

Ankouraou went on to state, “The decisions taken by Mali’s days of national consultation are quite similar to those of the ECOWAS.” However, the West African leaders insisted that “the officials sent by the junta can do what is necessary to convince the Malian public and especially the members of the junta to facilitate the ECOWAS task.”

The regional organization, at its fifty-seventh Regular Summit held last week in Niamey, Niger, had required that the putschists choose two civilian figures to lead the political transition by Tuesday, 15 September 2020.

The inter-Malian dialogue initiated by the ruling National Council for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) resulted in the adoption of the 18-month Transition Charter. The document clarifies that the direction of the transition can be entrusted to a civilian or a member of the military.

On his Twitter account, Senegalese Head of State, Macky Sall praised the “consensual decisions” resulting from the summit. For their part, Presidents; Alpha Conde of Guinea, Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso, Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast, Faure Gnassingbé of Togo, Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger and Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s Vice-President, have responded to the invitation of their Ghanaian counterpart, Nana Addo Akufo-Addo, President of the ECOWAS.

In a statement published at the end of the summit, the regional organization recommended that the CNSP be dissolved “as soon as the civil transition begins.”



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