Yesterday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) suspended Mali from the group in response to the coup there last week, and said authorities in Mali should follow a timetable to return to democracy, but ECOWAS Has not done so reached the point of imposing new restrictions on it.
ECOWAS leaders from 15 countries held an emergency summit in Ghana’s capital Accra, agreeing a response by Mali’s military to topple the President and Prime Minister for the second time in nine months.
Mali’s neighbors and major powers fear the recent revolt could jeopardize the commitment to hold a presidential election in February and weaken regional fighting against militants.
In a statement issued after the summit, ECOWAS announced an immediate suspension of Mali’s membership in the group.
However, it did not announce sanctions imposed after the coup last August, including temporarily closing the group’s borders with Mali, which has no coast, and ending financial transactions with it.
ECOWAS has also not called Mali’s new interim president, Asimi Guetta, to step down. On Friday, Mali’s constitutional court announced the appointment of Goeta as the country’s interim president.
Instead, ECOWAS stated that a new civilian prime minister should be appointed and a new inclusive government should be formed to pursue the transitional program.
The statement from ECOWAS leaders stated that “the date of 27 February 2022 that has already been announced for presidential elections should be fully protected.”
Guetta was one of several officials who overthrew President Ibrahim Baubkar Keita last August.
On Monday, Guetta ordered the arrest of President Bah Nadav and Prime Minister Mukhtar Awan.
Both resigned Wednesday while in custody and were later released.
Western countries, including ECOWAS and France and the United States, fear the political crisis will increase instability in northern and central Mali, where regional groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and ISIS are stationed.
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