West Africa: Ecowas Upholds Sanctions On Guinea - Urges Mali to Stick to February 2022 Election Timetable

8 November 2021

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has maintained its decision to suspend Guinea from the bloc, the imposition of travel ban and freeze of financial assets on members of the military junta and their families until constitutional order is restored.

The ECOWAS also reaffirmed its demand for the unconditional release of President Alpha Condé. It also noted recent developments in Guinea, particularly the adoption of the transition charter, a civilian prime minister's appointment, and the formation of a transition government.

It urged the transition authorities to submit a detailed timetable of activities to be carried out on the transition toward the holding of elections per the decision of the Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government held on September 16, 2021.

The ECOWAS also appointed Mohammed Ibn Chambas as the special envoy to Guinea to strengthen dialogue with the transitional Authority towards the successful and short transition process.

These decisions were contained in a communique issued after the Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government held in Accra, Ghana, on Sunday, November 7, 2021, to review the political developments in Guinea and Mali

On the political transition in Mali, the Authority expressed concern about the deterioration of the security situation in that country due to the heightened political uncertainties. It called on the transitional team to intensify the effort to improve the security situation, particularly in affected areas of the country.

The Authority called on "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 to enhance the security situation in the Sahel."

It again called for a "more robust and offensive mandate and enhance the operational capacity of MINUSMA to deal with terrorism challenges in Mali. ECOWAS will accordingly request the United Nations Security Council to make the necessary amendments to the mandate of MINUSMA."

The ECOWAS Chair, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, had briefed the Heads of State and Government on the outcomes of his visit to Guinea and Mali when he conveyed the sentiments of the Authority to the transitional team in those two member countries.

The ECOWAS Chair informed the Authority of the inability of Mali's transition team to meet the transition deadline of February 2022.

The Authority, therefore, reiterated the need for Mali to adhere to the transition timetable in respect of the elections scheduled for February 27, 2022, and called on the transition team to act accordingly to ensure the expeditious return to constitutional order.

The Authority condemned the expulsion of the ECOWAS Permanent Representative to Mali and called on the transition team to uphold the spirit of dialogue and collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission to ensure a successful transition.

Accordingly, the Authority called on the International Community to take the necessary measures to ensure that the transition team respect their commitment to an expeditious return to constitutional order.

It said the situation in Mali and Guinea would be reviewed at the Ordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on December 12, 2021.

The ECOWAS Authority also expressed solidarity to the people of Niger, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone for the unfortunate incidents in those member states in which lives were lost due to Terrorism and infernos.

On Tuesday, November 2, 2012, more than 68 Nigeriens were killed in an attack by Jihadist groups at a town near Niger's Border. On Saturday, November 6, about 100 Sierra Leoneans perished in an explosion after an oil tanker collided with a vehicle in Freetown, the nation's capital city.

The Authority reaffirmed its adherence to all the ECOWAS normative frameworks, notably the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.

Present at the Summit were, Cote d'Ivoire President, Alassane Ouattara, Ghana's President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; Guinea Bissau President, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum,, Senegalese President, Macky Sall; Benin's Vice President, Mariam Chabi Talata, Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo; and Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, Christophe Joseph Marie Dabire.

Others include Seedy Keita, Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment of The Gambia; Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia; Robert Dussey, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and Togolese nationals abroad. Belarmino Silva; Ambassador of Cabo Verde to Nigeria; Mrs Francess Virginia Anderson, High Commissioner of Sierra Leone to Ghana;

The rest were Dr Goodluck Jonathan, Former President of Nigeria and ECOWAS Mediator for Mali; Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission; Mr Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS); Mr El-Ghassim Wane, Head of MINUSMA and Mr Maman Sambo Sidikou, Special Representative for MISAHEL, representing the President of the African Union Commission.

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