West Africa bloc maintains sanctions against Mali

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • West Africa's regional bloc Friday said it would maintain sanctions on Mali, while it also issued warnings to Guinea and Burkina Faso.
  • The 15-nation bloc is pushing for Mali's military, which seized power in 2020, to stage elections within 12-16 months.
  • Mali's junta views the sanctions as illegal and vowed to challenge them in international courts.


West Africa's regional bloc Friday said it would maintain sanctions on Mali over the military rulers of the Sahel country delaying a return to civilian rule after a coup.

At the end of a summit in Ghana, the Economic Community of West African States also issued warnings to the juntas that recently seized power in Guinea and Burkina Faso.

ECOWAS said military leaders in Guinea should provide "an acceptable timeline for transition" by the end of April, or it would slap punitive measures on the government and the National Transition Council (CNT).

The bloc added in a statement that, if Burkina Faso's junta did not free former president Roch Marc Christian Kabore from house arrest by Thursday next week, "individual sanctions" would also ensue.

The talks in the Ghanian capital Accra came three months after the bloc slapped tough sanctions on Mali.

They had opened "behind closed doors between heads of state", Malian Foreign Minister Aboudlaye Diop tweeted earlier in the day.

The leader of Mali's junta, Assimi Goita, was invited to the summit, according to an ECOWAS document seen by AFP.

But it was unclear at the opening if he was in attendance, physically or virtually.

The summit came about a week after an ECOWAS envoy for Mali travelled to Bamako, but the talks on restoring civilian rule were inconclusive.


The 15-nation bloc is pushing for Mali's military, which seized power in 2020, to stage elections within 12-16 months.

But strongman Goita has so far defied international pressure to hold elections.

Four coups since 2020

On Thursday, the court of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) ordered the suspension of the Mali sanctions.

It was unclear if the UEMOA court's suspension ruling would lead to the immediate lifting of the sanctions.

ECOWAS and UEMOA both applied economic and diplomatic sanctions on Mali in January after the junta proposed staying in power for up to five years.

Mali's junta views the sanctions as illegal and vowed to challenge them in international courts.

Much of Mali, a vast nation of 21 million people, is plagued by a jihadist conflict that first emerged in 2012 and spread to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.


Goita seized power in Mali in August 2020, the installed an interim government led by civilians.

But in May 2021, he deposed those civilian leaders -- in a second coup. He was later sworn in as interim president.

In September last year in Guinea, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya ousted elected president Alpha Conde, who had provoked mass protests by seeking a controversial third term in office.

And Burkina Faso's Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba toppled Kabore in January following two days of army mutinies amid frustration with the jihadist conflict.

ECOWAS has suspended the membership of the three countries.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 1683 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
52% - 8617 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
35% - 5723 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 549 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.19
+0.4%
Rand - Pound
19.64
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
16.62
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.52
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.1%
Gold
1,802.29
0.0%
Silver
20.82
0.0%
Palladium
2,227.50
0.0%
Platinum
966.00
0.0%
Brent Crude
98.15
-1.5%
Top 40
63,996
-1.0%
All Share
70,731
-0.8%
Resource 10
64,048
-2.8%
Industrial 25
86,577
-0.6%
Financial 15
16,059
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE