ECOWAS leaders adopt "harsh" sanctions against Mali
The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States agree to impose several sanctions against Mali's military junta.
West African leaders decided Sunday to impose new tough sanctions on Mali including border closures and a trade embargo after its military rulers delayed a return to civilian rule.
The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also agreed to cut financial aid and freeze Mali's assets at the Central Bank of West African States, according to a final declaration.
At a closed-door gathering in Ghana, the bloc leaders decided that they will recall member states' ambassadors to Mali.
The meeting followed months of increasing tensions over the timetable for restoring civilian rule in Mali after two coups and a military takeover.
Earlier, the junta of Mali has submitted a proposal to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for a new timeframe for restoring power to civilians, Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop announced on the eve of a summit of the group.
A couple of coups
In August 2020, army officers led by Colonel Assimi Goita toppled the elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita amid street protests against his rule.
Under threat of sanctions, Goita promised to restore civilian rule in February 2022 after holding presidential and legislative elections.
But he staged a second coup in May 2021, forcing out an interim civilian government and provoking widespread diplomatic condemnation.
ECOWAS insisted that Mali hold elections in February. However, the junta promised it would set an election date only after holding a nationwide conference, arguing a peaceful vote was more important than speed.