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ECOWAS withdraws ambassadors in Mali, shuts borders



ECOWAS withdraws ambassadors in Mali, shuts borders

The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has resolved to withdraw all its ambassadors from Mali and close the land and air borders between the member countries and Mali.

This resolution was conveyed in a statement issued after an Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Accra, Ghana.

The summit was held on Sunday to discuss the political situation in the Republic of Mali.

The statement said that after reviewing the situation, regional leaders rejected the transition schedule proposed by Mali’s military junta as “totally unacceptable.”

ECOWAS also imposed additional sanctions on the board.

“Withdrawal of all ECOWAS ambassadors in Mali; closure of land and air borders between the ECOWAS countries and Mali.

“Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between the ECOWAS member states and Mali, with the exception of the following products: essential consumer goods; pharmaceutical products; medical supplies and equipment, including materials for monitoring COVID-19 products, and electricity

“Assets freeze of the Republic of Mali in the ECOWAS central banks; freezing of assets of the state of Mali and state and parastatal companies in commercial banks

“Mali’s suspension of all financial assistance and transactions of financial institutions.”

The statement also revealed that the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government instructed all community institutions to take measures to implement the sanctions with immediate effect.

He said sanctions would only be gradually lifted after an acceptable and agreed transition schedule is finalized and satisfactorily monitored to ensure progress.

On the situation in Guinea, ECOWAS said it remained concerned about the slow progress of the transition process four months after the coup.

“The Authority regrets the absence of the election schedule and the non-constitution of the National Transitional Council (CNT).

“He also orders a mission to be sent to Conakry to discuss the transition,” the statement said.

Earlier, in their remarks at the opening session of the Summit, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and the President of ECOWAS praised the commitment and support of West African leaders to the progress and prosperity of the subregion.

“As it did throughout 2021, it continues to demonstrate its commitment to respond to urgent and critical evolving situations in the region.

“This is the 6th Extraordinary Summit since I assumed the presidency of the authority in which Their Excellencies have participated regarding the controversial issues of Mali and Guinea.

“It is a strong testament to his leadership and concern for the progress of ECOWAS,” he said.

In addition to Osinbajo and Akufo-Addo, other West African leaders present at the summit were Presidents Macky Sall from Senegal, George Weah from Liberia, Patrice Talon from the Republic of Benin, Christian Kaboré from Burkina Faso and Alassane Ouattara from Ivory Coast. .

Other Heads of State present were Umaro Embalò from the Republic of Guinea Bissau, Mohamed Bazoum from the Republic of Niger, Julius Maada Bio from Sierra Leone, and the Vice President of The Gambia, Isatou Touray.

The summit was also attended by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who is the ECOWAS Mediator for Mali, the Chairman of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, and representatives of international organizations.


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