West African bloc issues fresh sanctions over coups in Mali, Guinea

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Military leaders in Mali and Guinea are under pressure to follow a roadmap for elections after coups in recent years. The sanctions consist of travel bans and asset freezes.

Colonel Assimi Goita is under pressure from the West African bloc, after failing to keep to his pledge to hold fresh elections in Mali

West African economic bloc ECOWAS imposed sanctions against Mali on Sunday after transitional leaders admitted they would not be able to hold elections by the February 2022 deadline.

Military leaders wrote to the Economic Community of West African States, citing the fight against an Islamist insurgency in the north as one reason for the delay.

ECOWAS, made up of 15 countries, also stepped up pressure on Guinea’s military leaders after their coup in September.

What are the sanctions against Mali?

ECOWAS Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou told AFP news agency the bloc “has decided to sanction all those implicated in the delay” of the February 27 elections.

The date had been agreed by Colonel Assimi Goita for an 18-month transition back to democracy after the military overthrew former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August 2020.

West African economic bloc ECOWAS imposed sanctions against Mali on Sunday after transitional leaders admitted they would not be able to hold elections by the February 2022 deadline.

Military leaders wrote to the Economic Community of West African States, citing the fight against an Islamist insurgency in the north as one reason for the delay.

ECOWAS, made up of 15 countries, also stepped up pressure on Guinea’s military leaders after their coup in September.

What are the sanctions against Mali?

ECOWAS Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou told AFP news agency the bloc “has decided to sanction all those implicated in the delay” of the February 27 elections.

The date had been agreed by Colonel Assimi Goita for an 18-month transition back to democracy after the military overthrew former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August 2020.

Colonel Mamady Doumbouya has made solid steps to democracy but ECOWAS want more

While ECOWAS applauded these efforts, it is demanding Guinea hold elections in six months.

To this end, it continued travel bans and asset freezes on the West African country’s leaders until it committed itself to democratic progress.

jc/rs (AFP, Reuters, AP)