Mali junta 'strongly' condemns 'illegal' ECOWAS sanctions
Mali junta condemns the West African leaders' decision to impose new tough sanctions on the country over a delayed return to civilian rule.
Mali's junta said it "strongly" condemned "illegal" sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States on the country ECOWAS.
Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, the spokesman for the military regime, announced the recall of Bamako's Ambassadors to the West African nations involved, as well as the closure of air and land borders with them, in a statement read on national television Monday.
ECOWAS and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) imposed a slew of economic and diplomatic sanctions on Mali on Sunday, including border closures and a trade embargo, describing the junta's intention to stay in power for several years as "completely unacceptable".
The regional leaders' meeting in Ghana came after months of rising tensions over the timeline for restoring civilian rule in Mali following two coups and a military takeover.
"The government of Mali strongly condemns these illegal and illegitimate sanctions," said the junta's statement.
It accused ECOWAS and UEMOA of being "exploited by extra-regional powers with ulterior motives," a clear reference to Mali's military partners in the Sahel, such as France.
The junta stated it "deplores the inhuman nature of these measures which affect populations already severely affected by the security crisis and the health crisis."
Faced with the West African embargo, the junta stated that it had made plans to ensure normal supplies "by all appropriate means" and urged the people to remain calm.
Yesterday, West African leaders decided 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.