ECOWAS resolves to maintain sanctions against Mali, Guinea


The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has resolved to maintain the sanctions it imposed on Guinea, while imposing similar ones against the Transitional Government in Mali.

The resolution was part of the outcomes of the ECOWAS Extraordinary summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government held on Sunday, in Accra, Ghana.Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, said the summit was convened to review the political situations in Guinea and Mali.He said a communique was issued  at the end of the 3rd Extraordinary Summit on Guinea and Mali attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari. “

The authority decided to uphold the suspension of the Republic of Guinea from all ECOWAS governing bodies, as well as the travel ban and freeze on financial assets imposed on the members of the CNRD and their family members, until constitutional order is restored”.Regarding Mali, the ECOWAS leaders held a meeting, presided over by President Nana Addo  Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Chair of the ECOWAS Authority.“They resolved that in conformity with the decision taken on Sept.16, the authority decided to impose sanctions with immediate effect against individuals and groups, who have been identified, including the entire transition authorities and other transition institutions.“

These sanctions will also be imposed on the members of their families. The sanctions include a travel ban and a freeze on their financial assets.” It further instructs the president of the (ECOWAS) commission to consider and propose additional sanctions at its next Ordinary Session on Dec. 12, should the situation persist”, according to the communique.The summit, attended by leaders from 13 countries, called on the African Union, the United Nations, and the bilateral and other multilateral partners to endorse and support the implementation of the sanctions.Speaking to newsmen at the end of the summit, Osinbajo noted that African countries had gone beyond military coups as a means of changing political actors, describing coups as unacceptable.He said that ECOWAS Heads of State and Government would continue to prevail on the military juntas in Guinea and Mali to return their countries to democratic rule.“

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One of the important points that the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government make is that coups and coups     d’ etat generally are completely unacceptable.“And that we cannot continue to have a situation where they are tolerated for the simple reason that in Africa, West Africa in particular, we have gone way beyond military coups as an answer to the question of change in political actors.“

There is a very strong feeling amongst the heads of states that we must insist, other international bodies: the UN, EU, and other regional groups must support the imposition of sanctions on individuals and groups that choose not to follow the democratic process of change of government, but go by way of coup d‘ etat,” he said.He said that it appeared from all indications that a lot of progress had been made in Guinea, although there were  still concerns that there ought to be more clarity on transition.Osinbajo said Mali was a much more difficult situation, because very little progress had been made. Akufo-Addo, had earlier briefed the meeting on the outcome of a high-powered delegation led by himself to Guinea and Mali on Sept. 17 and Oct. 17 respectively, as part of the resolutions of the previous Summit held on Sept. 16.The Authority reaffirmed its adherence to all the ECOWAS normative frameworks, particularly the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.

Aside  Akufo-Addo and Osinbajo, the summit was attended by four other presidents from Ivory Coast, Senegal, Niger and Guinea-Bissau, while  Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Liberia and Togo,  Sierra Leone and Cape Verde, were officially represented.The session was also attended by Dr Goodluck Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the ECOWAS mediator for Mali, Mr Jean-Claude Kassi-Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission, and Mr Mahamat  Annadif, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).Others were Mr El-Ghassim Wane, Head of Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and Mr Mama Sidikou, Special Representative for MISAHEL, representing the President of the African Union Commission.

The vice president was accompanied to the summit by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Ghana, Vice Adm. Ibok  Ekwe-Ibas (retired) and the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu. (NAN)

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