The move by ECOWAS comes after Mali’s transitional leaders said they would not be able to hold timely elections.
West Africa’s main political and economic bloc has imposed sanctions on Mali’s transitional leaders after informing the organization that it will not be able to hold presidential and legislative elections in February.
Mali’s interim government, which seized power after the army overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August 2020, has promised the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to oversee an 18-month transition back. to democracy culminating in elections on 27 February 2022.
But it has only made improper progress with the organization of the vote and has repeatedly suggested that it may be delayed, in part as a result of an ongoing uprising by armed groups.
Regions of the sprawling nation of 19 million people are out of government control due to an armed uprising that first erupted in the north in 2012, before spreading to the center of the country, as well as neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.
ECOWAS said in a statement on Sunday after a summit in Ghana that the interim authorities had informed it “of their inability to meet the February 2022 transition deadline”.
The sanctions include travel bans and asset freezes on all members of the transitional authority as well as certain family members, the statement said, adding that ECOWAS will consider additional sanctions in December if no progress is made.
ECOWAS only imposed sanctions, including border closures, immediately after last year’s coup, but lifted them less than two months later after coup leaders agreed to the 18-month transition.
Since then, the leader of the initial coup, Colonel Assimi Goita, has carried out a second coup in May, this time by removing the interim president and taking over the position himself.
Last month, the West African country expel the regional bloc’s special envoy to Bamako accuses him of “actions incompatible with his status”.