ECOWAS threatens more sanctions on Mali if…

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says if Mali does not make concrete progress in the preparation for elections by the end of the year, it will impose additional sanctions on the country.

 While upholding the existing sanctions against the country which has suffered two coup d’état in the last 24 months, the West African body said the new sanctions would be economic and financial.

This was contained in a communique issued on Monday by the regional body after its 60th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS held on December 12, 2021 in Abuja, Nigeria.

The Session chaired by the President of Ghana, and Chair of the Authority, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to discuss recent and other issues concerning the sub-region.

It said the ECOWAS Leaders decided that there was the urgent need to respect the date of February27, 2022 to hold elections and return the country to democratic rule, while it would send the Mediator on a mission to Bamako to inform the Malian Authorities of the decision taken.

It said the Authority took note of an official communication of December 9, 2021 from Malian Authorities informing ECOWAS that the timetable for the election would be transmitted at the latest on January 31, 2022, which could be discussed with an ECOWAS mission.

According to the communique, the document also indicated that the electoral law for the single election organ (organe unique de gestion des élections) had been adopted by the government and transmitted to the National Transition Council (NTC).

It said the communication also mentioned that the new ECOWAS Representative has been approved.

The threats of new sanctions, according to the ECOWAS were because “The Authority remains concerned by the slow pace of preparation of the election. The Authority remains also concerned over the risk for the region from the intervention of private security companies in Mali.”

On Guinea, the Authority welcomed the recent decision of the transition Authorities to allow former President Alpha Conde to return home free, the formation of the NTC by end December 2021.

It stated it is concerned that, three months after the Coup d’état, a timetable for the return of constitutional order was yet to be issued and urged the authorities of the NTC to submit rapidly the timetable for the election to be held within the timeframe indicated.

“The Authority insists on the need to hold elections within the six months period previously decided on. The Authority decides to maintain the sanctions initially imposed. The Authority reiterates its will, to accompany the Guinean authorities for a successful transition,” it said.

The Communique said the Authority further called on the international community to support the implementation of the sanctions on Guinea and Mali.

The Summit adopted the ECOWAS Vision 2050 which aims, by 2050, “A community of peoples fully integrated in a peaceful, prosperous region with strong institutions that respect fundamental freedoms and work for inclusive and sustainable development.”

 BY TIMES REPORTER

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