The decision by the interim government in Mali to postpone elections that were slated to hold in February this year till December 2025 has caused countries within the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS to severe ties and impose strong economic sanctions against Mali, a member of the 15-state regional bloc.
The decision was announced in a communique released by the regional body after an emergency summit it held in Ghana to deliberate on the developing situation in Mali.
The issued sanctions would mean that all member states will close all land and air borders with the country whilst also suspending the provision of non-essential financial services to the country, seizing the country’s assets that are in ECOWAS’ commercial banks and recalling their ambassadors from Mali’s capital in Bamako.
These efforts are supposed to destabilize the military government after reneging on its agreement with the body to hold elections this year. Although the country’s interim government in its reaction to ECOWAS’ move has been immediate as it declared the body’s actions as illegal through its spokesperson, Abdoulaye Maiga.
He said in his statement that “The government strongly condemns these illegal and illegitimate sanctions”, blaming insurgency in the country as the reason it can not continue with its election plans.
ECOWAS continues to maintain its stance against military governments in the West African region with its latest move, describing the interim government’s new schedule as “simply means that an illegitimate military transition government will take the Malian people hostage”.