ECOWAS imposes sanctions on Guinean military leaders

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has imposed sanctions, including a freeze in financial assets and travel bans, on members of the new Guinean military government.

This followed the Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS member-states on the political situation in Guinea and Mali on Thursday (16 September).

The bloc has also given the military rulers a six-month ultimatum to return the country to constitutional order, Jean-Claude Kassie Brou, ECOWAS President, told the media after the regional grouping’s extraordinary Summit, in Accra, to firm up a decision on the political impasse in Guinea.

The organisation also called for the unconditional release of President Conde and all those held in detention by the military rules.

Eight leaders, including the Presidents of Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau and Niger, took part in the meeting. Nigeria was represented by its Vice President. Three other foreign ministers and a prime minister represented their countries.

The extraordinary session was chaired by the President of Ghana and Chair of the ECOWAS, Nana Akufo-Addo.

Other participants at the meeting are former Nigerian President and ECOWAS Mediator on Mali, Dr Goodluck Jonathan; the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Brou; and the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa, among others.

The communiqué issued after the meeting read in part, “After consideration of the report and subsequent deliberations, the Authority decides as follows: to uphold the suspension of Guinea from all ECOWAS governing bodies until the restoration of constitutional order; to ensure the conduct of presidential and legislative elections within six months to restore constitutional rule in the Republic of Guinea; to impose sanctions, in accordance with extant ECOWAS Protocols, of travel bans on the members of the CNRD (the Guinean military junta) and their family members and to freeze their financial assets.”

It would be recalled that at the last virtual summit of ECOWAS leaders on 8 September, the regional body after the 1-day meeting announced the suspension of Guinea from the body and called for the “immediate return to constitutional order” in the country.

Kola Tella

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