January 10, 2022

The Authority of Heads of States and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is unhappy with Malians Military Transition Government’s new calendar to conduct presidential elections at the end of December, 2025 setting a duration of five and a half years transition.

According to the Heads of States and Governments of ECOWAS, the new timetable indicates that the illegitimate military transitional Government would take the Malian people hostage during the next five years.

The Authority was briefed on the conclusions of the Assises National de la Refondation (ANR) of 13 December 2021, leading to the adoption of a calendar on the Transition in Mali.

The calendar submitted on the 31st December 2021 by the transition authorities to the Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, schedules presidential elections to take place by the end December 2026. This will imply a transition period of six and a half (6.5) years.

 The Authority noted that important stakeholders did not participate in those ANR, thus reflecting a lack of consensus by national stakeholders with regard to the proposed calendar.

In view of that the Authority has upheld the initial sanctions already imposed on Mali and on the transitional authorities and additional economic and financial sanctions, in conformity with its deliberation at its sixtieth Ordinary Session held in Abuja Nigeria on December 12, 2021.

They are as follows:

  1. a) Recall for consultations by ECOWAS Member States of their Ambassadors accredited to Mali;
  2. b) Closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Mali;
  3. c) Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Mali, with the exception of food products, pharmaceutical products, medical supplies and equipment, including materials for the control of COVID-19, petroleum products and electricity;
  4. d) Freeze of assets of the Republic of Mali in ECOWAS Central Banks;
  5. e) Freeze of assets of the Malian State and the State Enterprises and Parastatals in Commercial Banks;
  6. f) Suspension of Mali from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions, particularly, EBID and BOAD.

This was contained in a communiqué at the end of an Ordinary Session in of the Authority of Heads of States and government in Accra Ghana held on Sunday, January 9, 2022.

In addition, in view of the potentially destabilizing impact on Mali and the region, as a result of this transition in Mali, the Authority decides to activate immediately the ECOWAS Standby Force, to enhance its preparedness, should the need arise.

 The Authority calls on the African Union, the United Nations and other partners to support the process for the enforcement of these sanctions and continue to provide support for a successful political transition. It invites the neighbouring countries of Mali, which are not members of ECOWAS, particularly Algeria and Mauritania, to support the implementation of the sanctions. ECOWAS will shortly field a mission to these neighbouring countries led by the Chairperson of Council of Ministers.

 Despite the denial by the Malian Transition Government, the Authority remains deeply concerned by consistent reports on deployment of private security agents in Mali with its potentially destabilizing impact on the West Africa Region. The Authority notes that this situation is closely related to the stalled political transition in the country.

 The Authority strongly condemns the continued arrest and imprisonment of Malian Political personalities and former dignitaries by the Transition Authorities and demands that their cases be handled in line with the rule of law and respect of human rights.

Regarding Guinea, the Authority remains concerned on the slow progress of the transition process four (4) months after the coup d’Etat. The Authority regrets the absence of an electoral calendar and the National Council of 6 Transition (CNT). It also directs a mission be fielded to Conakry to discuss the transition process with the transition authorities.

Concerning the Institutional Reforms of ECOWAS, the Authority instructs the President of the Commission to take all necessary measures for the new statutory appointees to take office on 1st July 2022 at the end of the tenure of the current Management. This implies the finalization of the allocation of remaining statutory positions and the launch of the recruitment process.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com