ECOWAS IN PERSPECTIVE: Sanctions on Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali Adjourn

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The leaders of Economic Community of West African States [ECOWAS] have
suspended for a month its decision to sanction the military regimes of Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali. At a meeting in Accra, Ghana, the leaders disagree on the sanctions against the army leaders of the aforementioned three member nations until July 3, 2022. Some pundits have argued that the living conditions of the ordinary citizens of the above-mentioned three countries are worsened and the macroeconomic indicators heading to a tailspin. The Russia-Ukraine War, terrorism in the region are affecting the already impoverished economies of the three West African Countries.

During the 4th Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government
of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) held in Accra, Ghana, on
January 9, 2022, to analyze the political situation in Mali, additional sanctions were imposed on Mali because of the failure of the transitional authorities to take the needed steps to organize presidential elections prior to February 27, 2022.

The Malian sanctions include the recall of ECOWAS member states ambassadors accredited to Mali; closure of land and air borders; suspension of all commercial and financial transactions except for food products, medical supplies, pharmaceutical products, and equipment, including materials for the control of COVID-19, petroleum products and electricity; freezing of Malian assets in ECOWAS central banks; and the suspension of all financial assistance and transactions.

At the extraordinary meeting held in Accra, capital of the Republic of Ghana, the leaders
focused on the brittle and deteriorating political situations in Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali and the related security concerns in the region. In the theatre of diplomatic brinkmanship Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali are alleged to be hoping for Russian mercenaries to address instability in their countries. However experts have also reminded the African Union and ECOWAS to invoke African convention on anti-mercenary activities in Africa implemented in 1985, restraining member countries from endorsing mercenaries in their territories.

By Nana Yaw Osei, Minnesota, USA