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Mali reacts to lifting of sanctions by ECOWAS

Trader in Mali   -  
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Malians have expressed hope and joy at the decision of regional bloc ECOWAS to lift the sanctions imposed on Mali's military regime.

West African leaders accepted on Sunday a March 2024 plan to return to civilian rule.

Mali underwent coups in August 2020 and May 2021.

"It's a great joy for all of us, for the society because our economy had gone down.
I think that with the opening of the borders, there will be progress for everyone.
For operators, for carriers", said Abdoulaye Traoré, company manager for Africa Tours Trans.

The sanctions have badly hit the landlocked Sahel state, whose economy is already under severe strain from a decade-long jihadist insurgency.

"The more the transport increases in price, the more the products increase in price too. If the price of gasoline goes down it will also reduce our prices. Because they are all transported. And even today with this lifting, if the price of fuel does not drop, it will not affect the price of products", explained retail trader Aly Ballo.

After months of talks, last week Mali approved a plan to hold presidential elections in February 2024.

On Sunday, ECOWAS also agreed to allow Burkina Faso two years for its transition to democracy.

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