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ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Niger, Mali, Guinea

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Saturday lift some sanctions earlier placed on Niger Republic, Mali, and Guinea. 

The resolution was taken at the extraordinary summit on the peace, political, and security situation in the ECOWAS sub-region in Abuja on Saturday.

While the regional bloc said the political and targeted sanctions on the Niger Republic remain, it lifted some financial and economic sanctions on Guinea and other sanctions on Mali.

Following the military coup in Niger Republic on July 26, 2023, which toppled President Mohamed Bazoum, ECOWAS imposed several sanctions on the country.

But reading the communique after the emergency summit of the West African bloc on Saturday, ECOWAS Commission President, Omar Alieu Touray, reeled out some of the sanctions the Authority resolved to lift.

They include the closure of land and air borders between all ECOWAS countries and Niger Republic; no flight zone to all commercial flights to and from the Niger Republic, suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS member states and Niger Republic and freezing of all service transactions including utility services.

Other sanctions on Niger lifted are the freezing of assets of Niger Republic in all ECOWAS Central banks; freezing of assets of Niger State and the state enterprises and parastatals in commercial banks; suspension of Niger Republic from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions lifted and travel bans on the military officials and their families involved in the coup attempt.

Touray said that the decision by ECOWAS is based on humanitarian considerations especially “as we are in the month of Lent and as we prepare for the holy month of Ramadan”.

He noted that the authority also resolved to lift the sanctions regarding the recruitment of Malian citizens in statutory and professional positions within ECOWAS as well as lifting financial and economic sanctions on the Republic of Guinea.

The ECOWAS President added that he has been instructed by the Commission to invite Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, and Guinea to attend the technical and consultative meetings of ECOWAS as well as all security-related meetings.

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