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West African leaders lift economic and financial sanctions on Mali

West African leaders lift economic and financial sanctions on Mali

COOPER INVEEN and CHRISTIAN AKORLIE LEADERS of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Sunday lifted economic and financial sanctions imposed on Mali after its military rulers proposed a 24-month transition to democracy and published a new electoral law. The bloc imposed stiff sanctions on Mali in January after the junta said it would not organise democratic elections the following month as initially planned. ECOWAS Commission President Jean Claude Kassi Brou told a news conference that the sanctions will be lifted immediately. Borders with Mali will reopen and regional diplomats will return to Bamako.  "However, the heads of…
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West Africa angry with ‘recalcitrant’ coup states

West Africa angry with ‘recalcitrant’ coup states

WEST AFRICA'S main political and economic bloc said it would give Mali's military transitional government 12 to 16 months to arrange elections and offered Guinea's ruling junta a month to propose a democratic transition timeline. After a summit in Accra, leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also agreed to ask Burkina Faso's interim leaders to reduce a proposed transition of 36 months to a "more acceptable timeline," the bloc's Commission President Jean Claude Kassi Brou told a news conference. West Africa has been rocked by two coups in Mali, one in Guinea and one in Burkina…
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West African leaders cancel Burkina Faso visit after military president’s inauguration

West African leaders cancel Burkina Faso visit after military president’s inauguration

WEST AFRICAN leaders have cancelled a planned trip to Burkina Faso to meet coup leader Paul-Henri Damiba, instead sending a team of ministers in the coming days, the region's main political bloc said in a statement. Damiba, who was inaugurated on Wednesday as interim president for three years, led a group of officers to oust President Roch Kabore in January, saying they were motivated by frustration about mounting violence by Islamist militants. Damiba's government began to take shape on Thursday with the appointment of economist Albert Ouedraogo as the West African nation's transitional prime minister. Other key positions are expected…
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West African leaders to hold summit on coups

West African leaders to hold summit on coups

LEADERS of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will hold an extraordinary summit on Burkina Faso and Mali on Friday, Ivory Coast's information minister said, after military takeovers in both countries. Army officers in Burkina Faso ousted President Roch Kabore on Monday in West Africa's third coup in nine months, following military takeovers in Mali and Guinea. The regional bloc strongly condemned Kabore's ouster, saying he was forced to resign under threat and intimidation. The coup came amid an increasingly bloody Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands and displaced millions across West Africa's Sahel region, eroding faith in…
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West African leaders to hold summit on Guinea coup

West African leaders to hold summit on Guinea coup

COOPER INVEEN WEST African leaders will meet on Thursday to decide how to respond to the coup in Guinea and how to pressure the junta leaders to return the country to constitutional rule, Ghana's foreign minister said. The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has condemned the putsch that overthrew President Alpha Conde, the third coup in West and Central Africa since April. The bloc suspended Guinea from the decision-making bodies of the organisation last week and sent a mission to meet the coup leaders on Friday. Ghanaian Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, who chairs the ECOWAS council…
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Guinea junta freezes govt accounts

Guinea junta freezes govt accounts

SALIOU SAMB GUINEA'S military junta, which seized power over the weekend, has ordered the central bank and other banks to freeze all government accounts. On Sunday a group of special forces soldiers said they ousted President Alpha Conde over concerns about poverty and endemic corruption. The banking freeze was aimed at "securing state assets", a junta spokesman announced on the national broadcaster. "This includes public administrative and commercial establishments in all ministries and the presidency, presidential programmes and projects, members of the outgoing government as well as senior officials and administrators of state financial institutions," the spokesman said. A mining…
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Mali’s opposition rejects West African leaders’ plan to end deadlock

Mali’s opposition rejects West African leaders’ plan to end deadlock

TIEMOKO DIALLO MALI's opposition coalition on Tuesday formally rejected a plan proposed by West African leaders for ending a political crisis, raising the prospect of more mass anti-government demonstrations in the coming weeks. Tens of thousands of people answered opposition calls for protests in early June over contested local elections, perceived government corruption and incompetence. Police killings of protesters further inflamed anger against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who the opposition insists should resign. Heads of state of members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) proposed on Monday that the members of parliament whose elections were contested should…
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