ECOWAS Worried Over Mali

Leaders in the West African sub region have expressed reservations about the volatile political situation in Mali.

They think the manner in which the transitional administration is handling matters there could distabilise the peace in neghbouring countries.

A communique issued after an extraordinary meeting of the authority of head of States and government in Accra on Sunday said “the Authority remains concerned about the deterioration of the security situation in Mali, as a result of the heightened political uncertainties in the country.”
It has therefore called on the Transition Authorities to intensify their efforts to improve the security situation, especially by ensuring effective state presence in the affected areas.

“In this context, the Authority calls on the neighbouring countries to step up security presence along their borders with Mali and instructs the ECOWAS Commission to deepen the ongoing discussions with the African Union Commission with a view to enhancing the security situation in the Sahel”, it said.

They have also called for a more robust and offensive mandate and enhance the operational capacity of Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali to deal with terrorism challenges in that country.

ECOWAS has thus resolved to request the United Nations Security Council to make the necessary amendments to the mandate of MINUSMA.

Transition Process

On the political front, the Chair of ECOWAS informed the Authority of the official notification by the transition authorities of their inability to meet the transition deadline of February 2022.

The Authority highly deplored the lack of progress made in the preparations for the elections,  including the absence of a detailed timetable of activities for the conduct of elections on the agreed dates.

The Authority therefore reiterated the need to adhere to the transition timetable in respect of the elections scheduled for 27th February 2022 and calls on the Transition Authorities to act accordingly to ensure expeditious return to constitutional order.

Accordingly, the Authority has asked the International Community to take the necessary measures to ensure that the transition authorities respect their commitment to an expeditious return to constitutional order.

In conformity with the decision taken on 16th September 2021,  it has also decided to impose sanctions with immediate effect against individuals and groups who have been identified, including the entire Transition authorities and the other transition institutions.
These sanctions will also be imposed on the members of their families.

The sanctions include a travel ban and a freeze on their financial assets.

It further instructed the President of the Commission to consider and propose additional sanctions at its next Ordinary Session on 12th December 2021, should the situation persist.

They have also called on the African Union, the United Nations, and the bilateral and other multilateral partners to endorse and support the implementation of these sanctions whilst condemning the expulsion of the ECOWAS Permanent Representative to Mali in this critical context.

They have since asked the transition authorities to uphold the spirit of dialogue and collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission to ensure a successful transition.

Resolution On Guinea

On the political transition in Guinea, the Authority reaffirmed its demand for the unconditional release of the deposed President, Alpha Condé.

It took note of the recent developments in Guinea, particularly the adoption of the Transition Charter, the appointment of a civilian Prime Minister and the formation of the Transition Government.

That notwithstanding, it urged the Transition Authorities to urgently submit a detailed timetable of activities to be carried out under the transition towards the holding of elections, in accordance with the decisions of the Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government held on 16th September 2021.

The Authority still upheld its decision to suspend Guinea from all ECOWAS governing bodies as well as the travel ban and freeze of financial assets imposed on the members of the CNRD and their family members, until constitutional order is restored.

They have since appointed Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas as Special Envoy to Guinea with a view to strengthening dialogue with the Transitional authorities towards a successful and short transition process.

Florence Akosua Gyeduaa
Florence Akosua Gyeduaa

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