Ecowas suspends Mali as Macron threatens to abandon terror war over coup
London, May 31, 2021 (AltAfrica)-West African regional bloc ECOWAS on Sunday suspended Mali from the regional block in response to last week’s coup and said authorities must stick to a timetable for a return to democracy, but stopped short of imposing new sanctions
“The suspension from ECOWAS takes immediate effect until the deadline of the end of February 2022 when they are supposed to hand over to a democratically elected government,” Ghana’s Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey told reporters.
“One of the decisions of the heads of state is that they should ensure that in the next few days a civilian prime minister is put in place to form the next government,” she added.
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo hosted the talks in the Ghanaian capital Accra after Mali’s constitutional court named Colonel Assimi Goita as the country’s new president.
Goita — who sparked outrage after detaining the country’s transitional president and prime minister on Monday — arrived in Accra on Saturday for preliminary talks.
Akufo-Addo kicked off the Sunday summit with the leaders from the region by stressing the community’s “commitment to a peaceful transition” while also warning of the “grave consequences” the political turmoil could have.
French president Emmanuel Macron had threatened to withdraw French troops from Mali in the wake of the latest coup
Emmanuel Macron told a Sunday newspaper that he has made Paris’s position absolutely clear to the West African leaders.
“France will not go on supporting a country without democratic legitimacy,” Macron has warned.
“I told Malian President Bah Ndaw, who was serious about the keeping the jihadists completely isolated from political power, that I would never tolerate radical islamism in Mali while our soldier are serving there.
“Now there is that danger in Mali. If things continue in that direction, France will withdraw,” the French leader said.
France has 5,100 troops in the region under its so-called Barkhane operation which spans five countries in the Sahel — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
The G5 Sahel mission, headquartered in Chad, was launched after France intervened to fend off a jihadist insurrection in Mali in 2013. Reuters