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ECOWAS sanctions Mali, withdraws ambassadors

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has withdrawn all its ambassadors from Mali.

“Withdrawal of all ECOWAS ambassadors in Mali, closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Mali” are expected to take immediate effect.

The sanctions also include the freezing of Mali’s assets in ECOWAS Central Bank and the suspension of Mali from all financial assistance and transactions from financial institutions.

Additionally, ECOWAS suspended financial transactions between Mali and member states, “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.”

The communiqué also disclosed that ECOWAS instructed all community institutions to take steps to implement the sanctions with immediate effect.

After reviewing the situation, it added that the regional leaders rejected the transition schedule proposed by the Malian military junta as “totally unacceptable.”

ECOWAS further mentioned that the sanctions would only be gradually lifted after an acceptable and agreed transition chronogram was finalised and monitored satisfactorily to ensure progress.

Aside from Vice President Osinbajo and President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, other West African leaders present at the summit were Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, George Weah of Liberia, Patrice Talon of Benin Republic, Christian Kaboré of Burkina Faso, and Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire.

Others included Umaro Embalò of Guinea Bissau, Mohamed Bazoum of Niger Republic, Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, and Vice President Isatou Touray of The Gambia.

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