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Ecowas lifts off sanctions placed on Mali

The Economic Community of West African States  has lifted the sanctions it placed on Mali following a military coup which had sacked the elected government on August 18.

The regional bloc stated in a statement on Tuesday that the decision was taken because the country has made “significant advances” toward a civil rule system.

“The bloc has now taken into account notable advances towards constitutional normalisation,” said Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana who currently chairs ECOWAS said.

The 15-nation bloc had on August 20 imposed tough sanctions on Mali after former president Ibrahim Keita was ousted by soldiers following months of mass protests against Mr Keira’s “inept rule”

The sanctions had included border closures and a ban on commercial trade and financial flows but not basic necessities, drugs, equipment to fight coronavirus, fuel or electricity.

The military junta, amidst calls and pressure for a return to democratic process within 18 months, appointed a committee headed by a retired colonel, Bah Ndaw, as interim president and Moctar Ouane as the Prime Minister.

Mali’s new Prime Minister announced the full formation of the government consisting 25 ministers, out of which four are military officials.

The positions to which soldiers were appointed are defence, security, territorial administration and national reconciliation.

ECOWAS further urged the transitional government to release all remaining detainees arrested during the August 18 coup.

 It also emphasised the need for the publication of a roadmap for the transition period while calling on “all bilateral and multilateral partners to support Mali.”

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