ECOWAS punishes Guinea, condemns Mali for Ivorian army | News

West African regional bloc announces new sanctions against Guinea’s transition schedule to democracy.

The Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, announced additional sanctions against Guinea’s military government after the organization failed to establish a new timetable for the process. transition to democracy.

In an unusual summit held on Thursday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New YorkLeaders from West Africa’s main economic and political bloc have agreed to freeze the financial assets of members of the military government and ban them from traveling to other countries in the region.

The regional bloc also gives Guinea until October 22 to establish a “reasonable” timetable or face additional sanctions.

“These sanctions are intended to facilitate an early return to constitutional order in Guinea, a prerequisite for peace, stability and development,” the bloc said in a statement. after the summit.

Guinea has been ruled by the military since the coup in September 2021 that removed the President Alpha Condewho has been in power since 2010.

Guinea’s military-appointed prime minister, Bernard Gomou, previously deposed ECOWAS director Umaro Sissoco Embalo, describing him as a “puppet dressed as a politician”.

It is unclear who will be affected by the new sanctions, with much of the military leadership having been severely restricted in terms of finances and travel since taking power.

The ECOWAS Development Bank said in a statement that it would suspend funding for Guinean development projects as part of the new sanctions. The bank currently supports at least two energy projects in the country.

ECOWAS sanctioned Guinea’s military rulers and their families for the first time in the days following the September 2021 coup.

Interim President Mamady Dumbouya proposed a three-year transitional schedule in May, but ECOWAS rejected it in early July. They said the military rulers would face additional sanctions if no new date is set for early August.

At the end of July, Embalo said Guinea had agreed cut the timeline in a three- to two-year civilian transition plan.

However, Embalo warned on Wednesday that if the military rulers maintained that timetable, there would be sanctions.

Colonel Amara Camara, a senior military figure, responded by accusing Embalo of “lies” and “threats”.

The West African Bloc has struggled with a series of military coups in the region over the past two years.

ECOWAS leaders also used the summit as an opportunity to condemn the detained 46 Ivorian soldiers in Mali, who have been detained in the capital Bamako since 10 July on charges of operating as mercenaries.

Ivory Coast, which has repeatedly called for their release, said the troops were deployed as part of a security and logistical support contract signed with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali.

ECOWAS leaders condemned the Malian government for using “ransomware” in their negotiations with the Ivory government and said the presidents of Ghana, Togo and Senegal would soon travel to Mali to negotiate. about the unconditional release of soldiers.

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