Six months after, ECOWAS lifts economic sanctions on Mali

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has lifted the economic and financial sanctions placed on Mali.

Recall that ECOWAS had, at an extraordinary summit in Ghana in January 2022, imposed economic and financial sanctions on Mali.

The sanctions were imposed following a political crisis in Mali and the delay by the military transition government on organizing elections.

According to a communique released after the 61st ordinary session of the authority of the heads of state and government, held on Sunday, the West African organisation said it was taking into account the efforts of the mediation team led by Goodluck Jonathan, former president of Nigeria.

“On Mali, the Authority has been informed by the Mediator on the transition evolution. It takes note of the promulgation of a new electoral law on 24th June 2022 which establishes the single election management body, Agence Independante de Gestion des Elections (AIGE), among others,” the communique reads.

“The Authority also takes note of the transition timetable submitted by the Transition Authority which provides for a duration of 24 months from 29 March 2022. The timetable provides details of the steps that would lead to elections and the restoration of civilian rule, notably the constitutional reform. The Heads of State and Government decide to maintain dialogue with the Transition authorities, through the ECOWAS Mediator for Mali.

“On the basis on the above, the Authority decides to lift the following sanctions: The economic and financial imposed on 9 January 2022 — the closure of the land and air borders between ECOWAS Member States and Mali; the suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Mali; the freezing of the assets of the Republic of Mali domiciled in the Central Banks and Commercial Banks of all ECOWAS Member States; the freezing of the assets of public and parastatal enterprises of the Republic of Mali domiciled in commercial banks of all ECOWAS Member States; the suspension of all financial assistance and transactions in favour of Mali by ECOWAS Financial Institutions, particularly EBID and BOAD.”

The organisation also said it would lift the sanction on the “recall for consultations by ECOWAS Member States of their Ambassadors accredited to Mali”.

In the communique, ECOWAS said while the economic and financial sanctions have been lifted, Mali remains suspended from decision-making within the organisation.

“The Authority decides to maintain: The suspension of Mali from the ECOWAS decision-making bodies; the individual sanctions against individuals and groups,” the document reads.

“The Authority establishes a joint monitoring and follow-up mechanism for the implementation of the transition timetable with agreed benchmarks and whose reports on progress made would guide further decisions of the Authority on the lifting of the remaining sanctions.

“The Authority reaffirms that in conformity with paragraph 25 of the African Union Charter, the commitment made to ECOWAS by the transition authorities, and with the Transition Charter, no member of the transition authority can be a candidate to the elections organised for the return to constitutional order.

“The Authority calls on the International Community to provide humanitarian assistance and support to the transition process in Mali particularly for the preparation of the election.”


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