Member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have imposed fresh sanctions on Mali following the military’s delay in returning the country to civilian rule.
This decision was taken during The Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government held in Accra, Ghana on Sunday.
ECOWAS said the decision by Mali’s military authority to hold elections in December 2026 “simply means that an illegitimate military transition government will take the Malian people, hostage, during the next five years.”
The new sanctions include the closure of Mali’s land and air borders, and also, freezing Mali’s assets stored in the Central Bank of ECOWAS countries.
ECOWAS leaders also agreed to suspend all commercial and financial transactions between the ECOWAS Member States and Mali except the following products; essential consumer goods, pharmaceutical products, medical supplies and equipment, and electricity.
The regional bloc also agreed to withdraw all ECOWAS Ambassadors in Mali and also stated that elections in Mali must take place in February 2022 as earlier scheduled.
ECOWAS however said that the new sanctions would gradually be lifted only after an acceptable election timeframe is agreed upon and considerable progress is made towards implementing it.
The military regime has argued that an election date would be scheduled only after holding a nationwide conference, adding that a peaceful election was more important than speed.