OrderPaperToday – The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government has resolved to uphold the initial sanctions imposed on Mali and with additional economic and financial sanctions following the rejection of the proposed new calendar scheduling the conduct of presidential elections.
The ECOWAS Authority also faulted the Mali transition committee for lack of political will to return the country to democratic civilian rule.
A communiqué issued at the end of the 4th Extraordinary Summit convened on the political situation in Mali, held in Accra, Republic of Ghana on 9th January 2022, noted that the ECOWAS Authority had on 15 September 2020 reached a commitment with the Mali transition committee to hold elections on or before 27 February 2022.
The communiqué read: “The Authority, therefore, reiterates its call for the transition authorities to focus on activities geared towards an expeditious return to constitutional order or be ready to face the sanctions.
“The Authority deeply deplores the obvious and blatant lack of political will from the Transition authorities that led to the absence of any tangible progress in the preparations for the elections, despite the willingness of ECOWAS and all regional and international partners to support Mali in this process.
“İt will be recalled that the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) convened in Extraordinary Session in Accra, the Republic of Ghana, on 9 January 2022, under the chairmanship of H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority. The Extraordinary Session was to review political developments in the Republic of Mali since the last Summit held on 12 December 2021.
“The Authority, during deliberations, regrettably observed the failure of the Transition authorities in Mali to take the necessary steps for the organization of the Presidential elections before 27 February 2022 and contrary to the agreement reached with ECOWAS Authority on 15 September 2020 and the commitment in the Transition Charter. The Authority deeply deplores the obvious and blatant lack of political will from the Transition authorities that led to the absence of any tangible progress in the preparations for the elections, despite the willingness of ECOWAS and all regional and international partners to support Mali in this process”.
“Meanwhile, following the visit of the Mediator to Mali on 5 January 2022, the Transition Authorities submitted on 8 January 2022, a new calendar scheduling the conduct of the presidential elections for the end of December 2025, setting the duration of the transition for a total of five and a half years (5.5) years.
“The Authority finds the proposed calendar for a transition totally unacceptable. This calendar simply means that an illegitimate military transition Government will take the Malian people, hostage, during the next five years. The Authority reiterates its call for the transition authorities to focus on activities geared towards an expeditious return to constitutional order and to defer key reforms within legitimately elected institutions to be established after the elections.
“In view of the above, the Authority decides to uphold the initial sanctions already imposed on Mali and on the transition authorities. The Authority also decides to impose additional economic and financial sanctions, in conformity with its deliberations at its Sixtieth Ordinary Session held on 12 December 2021 in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Recall that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, former President of Nigeria and ECOWAS Mediator for Mali in the Memorandum on the political situation in Mali presented by Jean-Claude Kassi BROU, President of the ECOWAS Commission had urged both ECOWAS and the international community to support Mali in the transition process.