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ECOWAS imposes economic, diplomatic sanctions on Mali

Junta unveils ruling council, decisions as int’l community deplores coup

Following Tuesday’s military takeover in Mali, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), yesterday, gave vent to its threat by imposing economic and diplomatic sanctions on the landlocked nation.

It directed members to shut their land and air borders against the embattled country.In a communiqué late Tuesday, the sub-regional body also suspended Mali from all its decision-making organs in addition to the immediate implementation of restrictions against the military officers, their partners and collaborators in the coup pending restoration of constitutional order.

ECOWAS said it was dispatching a high-level delegation to the West African nation to restore normalcy. BESIDES, the international community has deplored the putsch.

United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, demanded the “unconditional release” of President Ibrahim Boubakar Keïta and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse as well as the “immediate restoration of constitutional order.”

In a statement in New York, he backed efforts by the African Union (AU) and ECOWAS to resolve the crisis.Chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, “emphatically condemns” the arrest of the leaders.

Also, French President Emmanuel Macron has “condemned the attempted mutiny underway.” His Foreign Minister, Jean Yves Le Drian, urged the soldiers to return to barracks.

The U.S. Special Envoy to the Sahel, Peter Pham, tweeted: “The United States opposes any extra-constitutional change of government, whether by those on the streets or by the defence and security forces.”

Moreover, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) frowned on the forceful seizure of power.

In a statement by its spokesman, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, the group urged Malians to remain vigilant until democracy is reinstated.

However, the Malian leaders resigned hours after their detention by the coupists.

Keita was seized from his home following months of mass protests against alleged corruption and worsening security in his home country. The ECOWAS Mediation Mission, led by Nigeria’s ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, had suggested the constitution of a government of national unity as a way out of the political debacle, while opposing a regime change effected via undemocratic means.

The Good Offices Ministerial Mission to Mali had equally insisted on constitutional ascension to power in conformity with the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.

MEANWHILE, the junta has established the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) to superintend a transition to civil rule.

The spokesperson, Col. Maj. Ismael Wague, in a statement, said: “We are not keen on power, but on the stability of the country, which will allow us to organise general elections within a reasonable timeframe to allow Mali to equip itself with strong institutions that are capable of managing our daily lives.

“In order to prevent the country from sinking, we, the patriotic forces in the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), have decided to take our responsibilities to ensure the continuity of the state and public services.”

He also announced a number of decisions that came into effect yesterday, including the closure of all air and land boundaries as well as a 9p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew until further notice.

Culled from Guardian