ECOWAS Freezes Assets, Imposes Travel Ban On Mali Coup Leaders

The Economic Community of West African States has slammed sanctions on the leaders of the military coup in Mali for shifting the date for the presidential and legislative elections earlier fixed for next February.

The sanctions include assets freeze and travel bans on all members of the transitional authority as well as certain family members.

This was contained in a statement issued after an extra-ordinary session of the ECOWAS Heads of Authority and Heads of States under the chairmanship of the Ghanaian President, NanaAkufo-Addo, in Accra.

The regional bloc further said it would consider additional sanctions in December if no progress was made.

Mali’s interim government, which took power following the military overthrow of President Ibrahim Keita in August 2020, had promised that ECOWAS would oversee an 18-month transition back to democracy culminating in elections on February 27, 2022.

But it has made slow progress towards organising the polls, blaming the uprising by armed groups which first emerged in the north in 2012, before spreading to the centre of the country, as well as neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

ECOWAS first imposed sanctions, including border closures, immediately after last year’s coup but lifted them less than two months later after the coup leaders agreed to the 18-month transition.

But the leader of the initial coup, Col AssimiGoita, staged a second coup in May, removing the interim president and taking over the position himself.

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