ECOWAS suspends Mali over coup

West African leaders decided at an extraordinary summit on Sunday 30 May to suspend Mali from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) after a second coup in nine months by the country’s military, but did not end up reimposing sanctions.

The putsch had triggered warnings of new sanctions and deep concerns over stability in the volatile Sahel region.

Ten regional heads of state and three foreign ministers attended the summit in the Ghanaian capital Accra, with former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan serving as mediator and special envoy to Mali in the crisis.

“The suspension from ECOWAS takes immediate effect until the deadline of the end of February 2022 when they are supposed to hand over to a democratically elected government,” Ghana’s Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said after the meeting.

The final declaration called for the urgent appointment of a new civilian prime minister and the formation of an “inclusive” government.

Mali‘s new president Colonel Assimi Goita had arrived in the Ghanaian capital Accra on Saturday for preliminary talks.

Goita led the young army officers who ousted Mali’s elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita last August over perceived corruption and his failure to defeat a bloody jihadist insurgency.

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