It’s been a year and 5 months since Mali’s Junta overthrown the democratically elected government of Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta through a military coup on August 18 2020. Efforts by the Ecowas members state to get the country back to civilian rule has been in vain as Assimi Goita the current military ruler, fails to relinquish power.
The Economic community of west African States (Ecowas) has upheld sanctions imposed on Mali last December, and Imposed new sanctions on the West African country, in a meeting held on 9th of January 2022 in Accra the Ghanaian Capital city. The 15-member state regional bloc agreed to close their land and air borders with Mali, sever diplomatic ties and freeze Malian State’s asset in Ecowas commercial banks. This was in response to what they described as “Unacceptable” postponement in organizing a democratic election in the country by the Malian interim government.
Elections which were scheduled to hold on February 2022, as originally agreed with the Economic Community of West African States, was postponed to December 2025 by the interim government of Mali. The Economic Community of West African States described the current military transitional government as illegitimate and has accused the interim government of trying to hold the people of Mali hostage.
The Regional monetary union (UEMOA) had instructed all financial institutions under its umbrella to suspend Mali with immediate effect. The Malian Interim government describes the sanctions as illegal and has vowed to close its side of the border with Ecowas member states, recall it’s ambassadors, and reserve the right to reconsider its membership in Ecowas and UEMOA, in response to the sanctions.
Meanwhile at the United Nations, a French drafted statement endorsing the sanctions, was blocked by China and Russia in a closed door consultation on Tuesday.
Kenya’s U.N. ambassador, Martin Kimani, said he was “disappointed” that the council couldn’t agree on what he called a “relatively mild” press statement. Adding that the Security Council’s failure to support ECOWAS’ actions spurred its three African members — Kenya, Ghana and Gabon — to speak to reporters to fully back the regional bloc’s position, “including the imposition of sanctions on the military authorities in Mali to ensure an expedited transition to constitutional rule.”
Russia and China’s support for the military government in the west African country is seen as very shocking and disappointing by African leaders, promoting questions about the true interests of the Super powers in the Continent. Meanwhile Russia private military Company known as the ‘Wagner’ group had been seen in the west African country and its presence is being strongly Condemned by Ghana, Kenya, Gabon and other African countries.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that the company has a “legitimate” right to be in the West African nation because it was invited by the transitional government, and he has insisted that the Russian government is not involved.
Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia in support of the Malian military government, said. We understand and are cognizant of the difficulties encountered by the Malian authorities in preparing for general elections.” He added that “We concur with the fact that absent restoration of government control in many parts, regions of the country, it will be difficult to view the vote as legitimate.”
However, the US, UK, France and other Western and European Nations has supported the sanctions imposed by the Ecowas, at the UN security council meeting.
“We are in complete solidarity with the region and with this very courageous and clear stance” by ECOWAS, French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters on Tuesday.