ECOWAS President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou says the commission “has decided to sanction all those implicated in the delay” in organising elections set for February 27 in Mali, after a summit of the 15-nation group in the Ghanaian capital Accra.
Brou told AFP that Mali had “officially written” to Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, who holds the rotating presidency of ECOWAS, to inform him that the Sahel country could not hold elections as planned.
In a final declaration following Sunday’s summit, ECOWAS said it “highly deplores the lack of progress” towards staging elections in Mali.
Council members “reiterated their call for the Malian transitional authorities to achieve the handover of power to democratically elected civilian authorities within the agreed timeline.”
As for Guinea, where soldiers seized power on September 5, ECOWAS decided to uphold the country’s suspension from the bloc as well as sanctions against individual junta members and their families.
It also reiterated its demand for the “unconditional release” of president Alpha Conde, 83, who has been under house arrest since his ouster.
In the final declaration, it praised the adoption of a “transition charter”, the appointment of a civilian prime minister and the formation of a transitional government – echoing Brou following an ECOWAS delegation to the country in October.
Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, who overthrew Conde after months of discontent against his government, had promised to restore civilian rule after a transition period of unspecified length.
The regional leaders also demanded that the Mali junta adhere “strictly” to that country’s transition timetable.
ECOWAS says it will hold its next summit in December when it will consider more sanctions “if the situation persists”.