ECOWAS lifts part of its sanctions against Mali, Guinea suspended

ECOWAS lifts part of its sanctions against Mali, Guinea suspended

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The 61st ECOWAS summit ended this Sunday, July 3 in Accra, Ghana. The West African organization has looked into its retaliatory measures against Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea after juntas seized power.

With our special correspondent in Accra, David Bache

The ECOWAS Heads of State considered that the progress made by Mali in recent weeks justifies a partial lifting of the sanctions. Bamako notably adopted a new electoral law and announced the return to constitutional order for March 2024.

Sanctions included closing borders, freezing Malian assets, and suspending trade and financial exchanges. All of this can resume. The ECOWAS ambassadors who were stationed in Bamako and who had been recalled will also be able to return to the Malian capital.

The financial sanctions that target the leaders of the junta are however maintained. Mali also remains suspended from ECOWAS authorities. The decisions taken this Sunday by the regional organization, with immediate effect, nevertheless constitute a very important step forward.

While ECOWAS demands the non-participation of the authorities in future elections, Sory Ibrahima Traoré, president of the Front for the Emergence and Renewal of Mali, believes that the lifting of sanctions is justice for the Malian people, because ” at no time did Colonel Assimi Goïta express a desire to participate in the elections “.

According to the pro-juntas, the ECOWAS sanctions “were illegal and illegitimate”, says Sory Ibrahima Traoré, president of the Front for the Emergence and Renewal of Mali

For Housseini Amion Guindo, president of the Framework which brings together the opposition parties for a successful transition, it is a ” not brave to cross ” but he asks that the authorities in Bamako do ” any further “.

The actions of the Malian junta to lift the sanctions of ECOWAS is a first “courageous step” but “davatage” must be done, according to Housseini Amion Guindo

Burkina Faso escapes sanctions

Regarding Burkina Faso, ECOWAS has decided to lift the threat of sanctions that has weighed on the country since last March. Sanctions had been adopted, but never applied. The regional organization takes into account the report of the mediator, the former Nigerien president Mahamadou Issoufou, who reported two important advances: the two years of transition proposed by the Burkinabè authorities, instead of the three years initially announced, i.e. a return civilians in power on July 1, 2024; freedom of movement granted to ex-president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. Like Mali, Burkina Faso nevertheless remains suspended from the bodies of the West African organization.

Guinea also escapes sanctions. At least for the moment. He was granted a one-month reprieve due to the appointment of a new mediator, in this case former Beninese President Thomas Boni Yayi. In particular, he will have to obtain a reduction in the transition period proposed by Conakry.

According to Annadif Mahamat Saleh, the head of the United Nations office for West Africa and the Sahel, the reprieve granted to Guinea by ECOWAS is a good thing “, because the ” blockade is not good for either partner “.

For Annadif Mahamat Saleh, head of the United Nations office for West Africa and the Sahel, the reprieve granted to Guinea “is a good thing”

For Guinean government spokesman Ousmane Gaoual Diallo, the arrival of the new mediator is a good thing and the government will show ” sincerity “so that his” chronogram » of the transition either « understood “.

“The government will spare no effort to achieve an understanding of the timetable which has been made public”, according to spokesperson Ousmane Gaoual Diallo.

Umaro Sissoko Embalo appointed president of ECOWAS

Bissau-Guinean President Umaro Sissoko Emballo is the new current president of ECOWAS. The presidency went to a Portuguese-speaking country, according to the texts.

Some were reluctant because of the instability in the country and even wanted the incumbent to extend his mandate by six months. But the Ghanaian Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo didn’t want it anymore. He served two terms, being obliged to convene extraordinary summits several times because of coups d’etat. Those close to him believe that this commitment would have taken him away from the management of internal affairs.

Shortly before, the meeting appointed the Gambian diplomat Omar Alieu Touray, 56, chairman of the commission. He replaces the Ivorian Jean-Claude Brou. The vice-president is Togolese. According to the reforms, seven new commissioners are appointed; they were 15 before. The commissioner for political affairs, peace and security is now the Ghanaian Abdel Fatau Moussa. He succeeds the Beninese Francis Béhanzin.

J.-L. Aplogan

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