ECOWAS to expel Mali ambassadors, cancels flights as well

The Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) has withdrawn its ambassadors to Mali and closed all land and air borders between Mali and ECOWAS countries.

These decisions, among others, intensify the initial sanctions already imposed on Mali and on the transition authorities.

ECOWAS took the decision following the failure of the Malian Military Junta to comply with the agreed February 27, 2022 date for election, but had rather extended it by four years – to 2026.

At its extraordinary summit yesterday, the Authority, which described as unacceptable the breach of the agreement by the Malian Transitional Authorities, decided to “freeze assets of the Republic of Mali in ECOWAS Central Banks; freeze assets of the Malian State and the State Enterprises and Parastatals in Commercial Banks; suspension of Mali from all financial assistance and transactions from all financial institutions…”

ECOWAS has also suspended all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Mali, with the exception of the following products: essential consumer goods; pharmaceutical products; medical supplies and equipment, including materials for the control of COVID-19; petroleum products; and electricity.


In a communiqué read to the media by the ECOWAS Commission President, Jean Claude Kissi-Brou, the Authority instructed all community institutions to take steps to implement these sanctions, which take place with immediate effect.

He said the sanctions would be gradually lifted only after an acceptable and agreed chronogram was finalised and monitored satisfactory progress was realised in the implementation of the chronogram for the elections.

He added that those sanctions had been put in place to facilitate the process of a return to constitutional order in Mali, necessary for peace, stability and growth, and in addition, designed to protect the populations.

In addition, in view of the potentially destabilising impact on Mali, and on the region, created by this transition in Mali, the Authority decided to activate immediately the ECOWAS Standby Force, which would have to be ready for any eventuality.

“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 an acceptable political transition. It invites the neighbouring countries of Mali, which are not members of ECOWAS to support the implementation of the sanctions. ECOWAS will field a mission to these neighbouring countries, led by the Chairperson of Council,” the communiqué said.

Despite the denial by the Malian Transition Government, the Authority said it remained deeply concerned of consistent report on deployment of private security agents in Mali with its potentially destabilising impact on the West Africa Region.

Agreement breached

The Malian Military Junta has breached the electoral timeline set with ECOWAS for it to hold elections and transition the country to constitutional rule, a decision agreed upon in September last year.

The transitional authorities addressed the Chair of the ECOWAS Authority, President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in a letter some three days ago, in which the new decision to hold elections after four years was communicated.

President Akufo-Addo announced this as part of his opening remarks at the extraordinary summit, held in Accra, yesterday.

He informed his colleagues that they had met to review the decision to see whether it complied with the agreement reached, embodied in the Transition Charter, and, more fundamentally, whether it conformed to the Community Principles as enshrined in the ECOWAS supplementary protocol on democracy and good governance.

It was the expectation of President Akufo-Addo that “we will take the appropriate decisions that will advance the future of Mali and our community. National, regional; and international stakeholders are all awaiting the results of our meeting.

“I will therefore hope that the outcomes of our deliberations will contribute to promoting democracy and consolidating peace and security in Mali and our region,” he concluded.


That was the sixth extraordinary summit under the chairmanship of President Akufo-Addo, concerning the vex issues of Mali and Guinea.

During the last ordinary meeting, which took place on December 12, 2021, in Nigeria, the ECOWAS Authority reiterated their strong concerns about the transition process in Mali.

They also advised the transition authorities in Mali to respect the date of February 27, 2022, for holding elections.

They indicated at the summit, their intention to review by December 31, 2021, the state of preparation by the Malian transitional authorities towards compliance with the agreed February deadline for the conclusion for the Malian Transition and the restoration of constitutional democratic order.

ECOWAS stated that if they were not satisfied with the state of progress by the Malian authorities, they would undertake additional sanctions to achieve compliance.


As the chair, President Akufo-Addo received a ministerial delegation from Mali on December 31, 2021, led by its Foreign Minister, which communicated the chronogram of the transition.

He was informed that the 4-day national re-foundation conference initiated by the transition authorities recommended that the election be held within a period of six months to five years to restore democracy in the country.

The official proposal submitted to him by the transition authorities indicated that the transition period should run for five years.

Subsequently, in a letter to him dated January 7, 2022, the head of the Malian transition stated that the period had now been modified to four years.



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