ECOWAS suspends Mali membership of the body

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In the wake of last week’s coup in Mali, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has suspended the country from being a member of the regional body.

This decision to suspend the country from the 15-member organisation was a one reached at a summit held Accra, Ghana.

According to Ghana’s foreign minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, “The suspension from ECOWAS takes immediate effect until the deadline of the end of February 2022 when they are supposed to hand over to a democratically elected government.”

Although the regional body did not impose new sanctions on the country, ECOWAS said authorities must stick to a timetable for a return to democracy.

ECOWAS also called for the immediate nomination of a new civilian prime minister and the formation of an “inclusive government” which must “respect the transition period of 18 months decided in Accra.”

“In this context, the date of 27th February 2022 already announced for the presidential election should be absolutely maintained. A monitoring mechanism will be put in place to this effect,” the resolution read further.

Mali’s military had last week arrested interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane after a cabinet reshuffle which Mali coup leader, Colonel Assimi Goïta said he ought to have been consulted over.

The civilian leaders were made to resign before they were released and had since been placed under house arrest.

ECOWAS demanded the “unconditional release” of the men after its summit which had in attendance ten regional heads of state and three foreign ministers, with former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan serving as mediator.

Northern and central Mali has been battling Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents which has plunged the Sahel region into decades-long political turmoil.

Recall that the Mali’s constitutional court had on Friday named Colonel Assimi Goita, 38 years old leader of the post-coup junta, as the country’s transitional president.

The judgement stipulated that Goita would “exercise the functions of transitional president to lead the transition process to its conclusion”, due to the “vacancy in the presidency” following the resignation of caretaker president Bah Ndaw.

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