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THE Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has suspended and imposed sanctions on Mali over the seizure of power by the country’s military on Tuesday.
The peacebuilding efforts initiated by the ECOWAS led by former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan to resolve the political crisis that has engulfed the country hit the rock when mutinous soldiers led by a 25-year-old Colonel Malick Diaw, arrested Boubacar Keita, Mali’s President and Boubou Cisse, the country Prime Minister on Tuesday.
Keita was reported to have said that he resigned from office because he did not want further shedding of blood in the country.
In a statement on Wednesday, the ECOWAS said it was disturbed by the development which it noted disrupted the peacebuilding process it initiated in Mali two months ago.
The regional body said the decision of the military might impact negatively upon the country and the Sub-Region.
It further stated that Mali has been suspended from all its decision making bodies and also directed all its members to close their land and air borders against the country.
“Following its statement published during the day of August 18th, 2020 reporting on an on-going mutiny within the Malian Armed Force, ECOWAS has noted with great concern the seizure of power by Malian military putschists.
“This seizure of power intervenes within a difficult socio-political context. Indeed, ECOWAS recalls that a mediation process has been on-going during the last two months. with a view to find a solution to this crisis. Following this power grab by Malian military putschists. which is likely to have a negative impact on peace and stability in Mali and in the Sub-Region.
“Suspends Mali from all ECOWAS decision-making bodies with immediate effect, as per the Additional Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, and this. until effective reinstatement of the constitutional order.
“Decides to close all land and air borders. as well as to stop all economical. trade and financial flows and transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Mali. and encourages all partners to do the same,” it stated.
While calling for sanctions on the perpetrators of the coup, it requested the immediate activation of the Regional Standby Force and the immediate implementation of sanctions against putschists and their partners and collaborators.”
The ECOWAS vowed it would dispatch a powerful delegation to forestall peace in Mali,
“Decides to dispatch a high-level delegation to ensure immediate return to constitutional order,” it said.