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ECOWAS lifts sanctions against Guinea and Mali

AP   -  
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Gbemiga Olamikan/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

ECOWAS

These decisions mark a step by ECOWAS towards resuming dialogue with the Sahel juntas. Burkina Faso, one of the four states governed by military regimes since 2020, also subjected to ECOWAS sanctions, is not mentioned.

After Niger, Guinea, and Mali. In a statement released on Sunday, February 25, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced "lifting financial and economic sanctions against the Republic of Guinea" and "lifting restrictions on the recruitment of citizens of the Republic of Mali for positions within ECOWAS institutions."

The regional organization had convened a new extraordinary summit on Saturday to discuss "politics, peace, and security in the Republic of Niger," as well as "recent developments in the region." The lifting of sanctions against Guinea and Mali was not specified during the final address by Omar Alieu Touray, the President of the ECOWAS Commission on Saturday evening.

In Guinea, ECOWAS had banned financial transactions with its member institutions a year after Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya took power, overthrowing President Alpha Condé in September 2021. On Monday, the junta leader announced by decree the dissolution of the government in office since July 2022.

In Mali, which has experienced two coups, in 2020 and 2021, the regional bloc had imposed economic and financial sanctions, which it lifted in July 2022 when the ruling junta announced its transition timetable.

ECOWAS "decided to immediately lift" the heaviest sanctions imposed on Niger since the military regime took power in Niamey, overthrowing elected President Mohamed Bazoum in July, announced Mr. Alieu Touray on Saturday afternoon.

Burkina Faso, one of the four states governed by military regimes since 2020, also subjected to ECOWAS sanctions, is not mentioned in the regional organization's final statement.

These decisions mark a step by ECOWAS towards resuming dialogue with these three military regimes, as Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso, which have notably turned away from France and drawn closer to Russia, announced in January their intention to leave ECOWAS. The three countries have grouped together within the Alliance of Sahel States (AES).