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West African leaders meet over coup-hit Guinea, Mali

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Hannah McKay/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


An extraordinary summit of Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) opened this Sunday, November 7, in Accra, Ghana, "devoted to the examination of political developments in the Republic of Guinea and the Republic of Mali," Ecowas said in a statement.

"During this extraordinary summit, the Heads of State will take stock of the situation in the two member states and will engage in discussions on the subject," the statement said.

Taking part in the summit is the President of Ghana and current chairman of ECOWAS, Nana Akufo-Addo, as well as his counterparts: Macky Sall of Senegal, Alassane Ouattara of Côte d'Ivoire, Mohamed Bazoum of Niger and the ECOWAS mediator, Goodluck Jonathan. The other leaders of the member countries will join the proceedings in the afternoon.

One of the main issues to be discussed during this extraordinary summit is the respect of deadlines set for the holding of presidential elections that should lead to civilian rule in both Bamako and Conakry.

In both countries, the military that seized power dissolved the government and institutions and abolished the constitution.

In the aftermath of the coup in Guinea on September 5, 2021, ECOWAS announced targeted sanctions against the perpetrators of the putsch and called for elections within six months, calling for a "very short" transition.

ECOWAS also decided to freeze the financial assets of the country's new leaders and their family members, and to impose travel bans on them.

The sub-regional organization suspended Guinea from its membership and sent a mission to Conakry to meet with the head of the junta, Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya, as well as Alpha Condé, who was overthrown and arrested on September 5.

With regard to Mali, ECOWAS imposed mainly economic sanctions and suspended the country from the organization following the August 18, 2020 putsch.

These sanctions were lifted following the commitment of the military led by Colonel Assimi Goïta to a transition of 18 months maximum starting in September 2020. They had scheduled elections for February 27, 2022.

At an extraordinary summit on September 16 in Accra, the sub-regional organization demanded that the Malian military "strictly respect the transition timetable" towards the restoration of civilian rule.

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