West African Group ECOWAS imposes sanctions on Mali after polling delay | Election News

After the coup leaders postponed the vote, regional institutions closed the border with Mali and imposed economic sanctions.

The group stated that the major regional groups in West Africa will close the border with Mali and implement comprehensive economic sanctions in response to the promised elections postponed after the 2020 military coup.

After the announcement on Sunday Extraordinary summit The leaders of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) discussed in the Ghanaian capital Accra the proposal of the Transitional Authority of Mali to hold elections in December 2025 instead of next month as originally agreed.

ECOWAS stated in a communiqué that it considers the proposed transition timetable to be completely unacceptable.

It said that this timetable “only means that an illegal military transitional government will take the people of Mali hostage”.

The 15 member states have agreed to immediately implement additional sanctions, including closing the land and air borders between the member states and Mali, suspending non-essential financial transactions, and freezing Mali’s state-owned assets in central and central ECOWAS. commercial Bank.

The Malian authorities did not immediately respond.

Army officers led by Colonel Asimi Goita in August 2020 Overthrown President-elect Ibrahim Bubakar Keita protested on the streets during his unpopular rule.

Under threat of sanctions, Goita subsequently promised to restore civilian rule in February 2022 after holding presidential and legislative elections.

But he staged a de facto Second coup In May 2021, the interim civilian government was forced to step down.

The move disrupted the reform schedule and was widely condemned by diplomacy.

ECOWAS insisted that Mali hold elections in February.

But the government subsequently stated that the election date will only be set after the elections are held. National Conference – Debate that peaceful voting is more important than speed.

After the Mali Reform Conference ended on December 30, the government suggested a transition period of 6 months to 5 years, Starting on January 1, 2022.

But Mali’s Foreign Minister Abdulaye Diop said that the ECOWAS mediator Goodluck Jonathan asked the military government to revise the plan during his visit last week.

According to Mali National Television, on Saturday, the military rulers submitted a new proposed timetable.

Foreign Minister Diop stated that the move was aimed at “maintaining dialogue and good cooperation with ECOWAS,” but did not provide any details.

“Mali’s counter-proposal is a four-year transition period. This is a joke,” said a senior Ghanaian official who is the chairman of ECOWAS.

In the process of seeking to maintain the basic principles of governance and contain regional instability, the restoration of civil rule puts the credibility of the group at risk.

Large areas of Mali are not controlled by the state, and the government has worked hard to quell the armed uprisings that have been raging since 2012.

ECOWAS responded to Goita’s first coup in 2020 by closing Mali’s borders, imposing trade restrictions and suspending the country’s decision-making institutions.

In response, the Malian army formed a civilian-led government and promised to hold elections, thereby lifting the earlier economic sanctions, although Mali is still barred from participating in the main EU institutions.

ECOWAS did not impose sanctions immediately after the second coup, but chose to take targeted measures against individual military personnel in November because they believed that the election preparations had been delayed.