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The 61st ECOWAS Summit concluded this Sunday, July 3 in Accra, Ghana. The West African Organization has seen its retaliatory measures after military coups took place in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea.
With our special correspondent in Accra, David Bache
ECOWAS heads of state felt the progress Mali had made in recent weeks justified the partial lifting of sanctions. Bamako notably adopted a new electoral law and announced a return to constitutional order by March 2024.
Sanctions include closing borders, freezing Mali’s assets and halting trade and financial transfers. All this can be repeated. ECOWAS diplomats stationed in Bamako and recalled can also return to Mali’s capital.
Financial sanctions targeting junta leaders are however maintained. Mali has also been suspended from ECOWAS officials. The decisions taken by the regional body this Sunday, which will take effect immediately, are, however, a very important step forward.
Burkina Faso escaped sanctions
As for Burkina Faso, ECOWAS has decided to lift the threat of economic sanctions imposed on the country since last March. Sanctions were accepted but never used. The regional body is taking into account the statement of the mediator, former Nigerian President Mahamadou Issoufou, who reported two important developments: a two-year transition proposed by Burkinabe authorities, instead of the three years initially announced, meaning a return to civilian rule. on July 1, 2024; Former president Roche Marc Christian Gabor was given freedom of movement. Like Mali, Burkina Faso is suspended from the West African Organization.
Guinea also escapes sanctions. At least for now. He was given a month’s reprieve due to the appointment of a new mediator, in this case former Beninese president Thomas Boni Yayi. In particular, he wants Conakry to shorten the transition period proposed.
Umaro Sisoko Mbalo was appointed President of ECOWAS
Bissau-Guinea President Umaru Sisoko Mballo is the new incumbent president of ECOWAS. According to the texts, the presidency went to a Portuguese-speaking country.
Due to the instability in the country, some were reluctant and wanted the incumbent to extend his tenure by six months. But Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo doesn’t want it anymore. He served two terms, forced to convene extraordinary summits several times due to coups. Those close to him believe that this commitment will keep him away from the internal affairs administration.
Shortly before, the meeting appointed Gambian ambassador Omar Aliou Toure, 56, as the commission chairman. He replaces Ivorian Jean-Claude Brouw. Vice President Togolis. As per the reforms, seven new commissioners are appointed; They were 15 before. The Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security is now Ghanaian Abdel Fattaw Moussa. He succeeded Francis Behanzin of Beninese.
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