ECOWAS suspends Mali over the second coup in nine months
Mali has been suspended from the Economic Community Of West African States in response to last week’s coup.
Leaders of the 15-member ECOWAS Countries held an emergency summit in Ghana’s capital, Accra on Sunday to agree to a response to the Malian military’s toppling of a president and prime minister for the second time in nine months.
Mali’s neighbors and international powers fear the latest revolt will jeopardize the holding of a presidential election next February and undermine a regional fight against armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS).
Mali’s suspension from ECOWAS takes immediate effect until the deadline of the end of February 2022, when the country’s interim leaders are supposed to hand it over to a democratically elected government.
The bloc’s final communique also called for the immediate appointment of a new civilian prime minister and the formation of an inclusive government.
However, it did not announce sanctions like those it imposed after the coup last August, which saw members temporarily close their borders with landlocked Mali and halt financial transactions.
It also did not call for new interim President Assimi Goita to step down.
The army colonel, who led the August coup as well as last week’s revolt, was declared president on Friday.
Instead, the statement said, the head of the transition government, the vice president, and the prime minister should not under any circumstances be candidates in the planned presidential election.
The date of 27th February 2022 already announced for the presidential election should be absolutely maintained,” it stressed.
There was no immediate response from Goita, who attended the summit.