ECOWAS lifts sanctions on Mali

By John Okeke

Following the annoucement of Mali’s 25-member Transition Government on Monday, regional bloc ECOWAS has lifted wide-ranging sanctions imposed on the country following the 18th August military coup.

Retired Col Bah Ndaw, 70, is President of the 18-month transition government with military junta leader Col Assimi Goita as vice President and former Foreign Minister Moctar Ouane as Prime Minister.

Military officers occupy four key portfolios for National security, defence, National Reconciliation and Regional Administration in the new government.

In the statement announcing the lifting of sanctions, the Chair of ECOWAS Authority and Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo called on the Mali government to comply with other demands by the regional body, including the dissolution of the ruling military Council and release detainees.

He said the junta has explained in the Transition Charter that the vice president is in charge of defence and security, but would never replace the transition president.

But it remains unclear if the new government enjoys the support of Malians, especially, the opposition coalition M5-RFP, which spareheaded national protests that preceded the military sacking of the government of elected president Ibrahim Keita.

The coalition would appear to have been sidelined.

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