Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, justified the diplomatic and economic sanctions against Mali, at a press conference from Gabon. West African states agreed last week to impose heavy economic sanctions on the Malian military regime.
On an official trip to Gabon, the Ivorian president felt that the sanctions against Mali were necessary after having exhausted all means in the face of the stubbornness of the Malian military junta, not wanting to cede power to civilians.
“It is unacceptable for a military regime to remain in place for a five-year term,” said Alassane Ouattara during a press conference in Libreville, where he met his counterpart Ali Bongo Ondimba during an official visit. “Our wish is that the situation normalizes as soon as possible,” added Alassane Ouattara.
But these economic and diplomatic sanctions were taken reluctantly, insisted the Ivorian president. “We have done everything to ensure that the military authorities of Mali organize elections in a timely manner, it is with our reluctance that we have put these sanctions in place,” he said.
The measures taken by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) are part of the context of the coups in Mali which suffered 2 since 2020, the first of which saw the forfeiture of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who died on Sunday January 16.
The military went back on their promise to organize presidential and legislative elections on February 27 to hand over power to civilians. They estimated that they will only be able to organize them in 5 years, i.e. in 2026.
On January 9, ECOWAS ordered the closure of Mali’s borders with its member states, an embargo on trade (excluding basic necessities) and financial transactions, the suspension of its financial aid and the freezing of Mali’s assets. at the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO).
The economic consequences for Mali and other states in the region have begun to be felt, according to the Ivorian president. “The situation of the populations is difficult both in Mali and in the large neighboring countries, such as Senegal or Côte d’Ivoire,” he said.
The Malian military junta denounced these sanctions and called on the Malian people to take to the streets to demonstrate against their exclusion, which should deal a great blow to this poor and landlocked country.
In anticipation of West African sanctions and the economic confinement of Mali, the head of Malian diplomacy turned to Algeria with a letter addressed to President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, the only country with financial means and with which it has borders. while not being part of ECOWAS.