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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

ECOWAS Countries to Shut All Borders Against Mali

According to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has demonstrated great will and commitment to problems of good governance and democracy in the sub-region with its recent stand against illegitimate grabs of power. 

Osinbajo made the remarks on Sunday in Accra, Ghana, where he was representing President Muhammadu Buhari at an ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government Extraordinary Summit to examine the current situation in Mali. 

ECOWAS voted to impose more sanctions on the Mali military junta, to withdraw all ECOWAS Ambassadors from the country, and to restrict land and air crossings between ECOWAS Member States and Mali during its summit on Sunday.  

The Vice President stated that the ECOWAS Member States are united in their opposition to coup d’états in the sub-region. 

“What is being done is unparalleled, Prof. Osinbajo told journalists after the Summit. The African Union, formerly known as the OAU and ECOWAS, never took a firm stance against coups d’états; nevertheless, there is indication now that ECOWAS, as well as the AU and the world community, will not support unlawful takeovers of government.”  

“It’s quite apparent that there is very great resolve, which is why we are here today. We anticipate that the initiatives taken will guide the Mali junta in the correct path.” Prof. Osinbajo said. 

“I believe ECOWAS has demonstrated that it still has teeth when it comes to matters of good governance and democratic businesses in the sub-region, as seen by the penalties levied on Guinea and Mali.” 

The sub-regional leaders rejected the transition plan presented by the Malian military junta after examining the situation in Mali at the Extraordinary Summit, stating that “the suggested chronogram for a transition is utterly unacceptable.”  

The junta was also hit with further penalties, including the following: 

All ECOWAS ambassadors in Mali must leave;  The closure of ECOWAS countries’ land and air borders with Mali;   All commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Mali are halted, with the exception of critical consumer items, pharmaceutical products, medical supplies and equipment, including materials for COVID-19 product control, and power,  Assets of the Republic of Mali are frozen at ECOWAS Central Banks;   Assets of the Malian state, state enterprises, and parastatals are frozen in commercial banks and  Mali’s financial aid and dealings with financial institutions are halted. 

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