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ECOWAS lifts sanctions on Niger, Mali, Guinea



Nigeria contributes 70% of products under ECOWAS trade –FG

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

The sub-regional body took the decision at an Extraordinary Session of the Heads of State and Government of member countries in Abuja.

The ECOWAS Commission’s Chairman, Omar Touray, who announced the decision at the end of the meeting, said political and targeted sanctions on the Niger Republic would remain, but economic sanctions on Guinea and other similar ones on Mali had been lifted.

Touray noted that the decision was based on humanitarian considerations, the socio-economic impacts of the sanctions on the people of Niger, and the security of the sub-region.

The sanction on Niger followed the July 2023 military putsch that pushed out President Mohamed Bazoum from power.

The Malian coup took place on August 18, 2020, while the military junta seized power in Burkina Faso on September 30 of the same year.

The Guinean President, Alpha Conde, was toppled in a military coup on September 5, 2021.

The chairman said: “The Authority calls for the immediate release of former President Bazoum and also calls on the transition authorities in Niger to provide an acceptable transition timetable to constitutional order.

“The Authority has resolved to lift with immediate effect sanctions imposed on Niger and has lifted the closure of land and air borders between it and ECOWAS member countries.

READ ALSO: Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso eye monetary alliance

“No-Fly-Zone of all commercial flights to and from Niger is to be lifted. Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS member states and Niger is to be lifted.

“Freezing of all service transactions including utility services is to be lifted.

“Freezing of assets of Niger in ECOWAS Central Bank is to be lifted. Freezing of assets of Niger and the state’s enterprises and parastatals in commercial banks is to be lifted.”

Touray said Niger had also been exempted from the suspension of all financial assistance and transactions as well as the travel ban placed on its officials and their family members.

He stressed that humanitarian considerations during the Lenten period and the upcoming holy month of Ramadan contributed to the lifting of the sanctions.

The Authority, he said, also lifted sanctions regarding the recruitment of Malian citizens in statutory and professional positions within ECOWAS.

“The Authority has also resolved to lift financial and economic sanctions on the Republic of Guinea.

“It instructed the President of the Commission to invite Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, and Guinea to attend the technical, consultative and security meetings of ECOWAS.

“The authority calls on ECOWAS institutions, member states, and other regional institutions to implement these decisions,’’ the Gambian added.

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