The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) may soon lift the economic sanctions it slammed on Mali following a coup in September, the country’s interim president has said.
Soldiers, who say they are the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), had on August 18 overthrown democratically elected president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, from power, prompting swift sanctions from the 15-nation ECOWAS.
The military junta led by Colonel Assimi Goita named a retired colonel Bah Ndaw as Interim President following demands by ECOWAS that the junta hands over power to a transitional government led by a civillian.
Goita was named as the interim government vice president but the ECOWAS has refused to lift the sanctions until a prime minister is named.
Just a few days ago the interim government named Moctar Ouane as the new government’s Prime Minister. Yet, the sanctions remain in place.
A tweet from the Interim President, Ndaw, has, however, disclosed that the West African regional bloc has “hinted” that sanctions against Mali “could soon be lifted”.
Earlier this week, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said there were still some “grey areas” that needed to be worked out before relations with Mali could return to normal.
For instance, Mali’s new vice-president is the former junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita, and Ecowas wants to make sure that he cannot become president.
Ndaw is a former military officer and defence minister.
Members of Ouane’s government will be unveiled on Tuesday, a report said.
The new PM, aged 64, served as foreign minister between 2004 and 2011 during Amadou Toumani Toure’s presidency.
He has served as peace and security representative for the West African Monetary Union (WAMU) since 2016. Ouane is originally from Bidi in central Mali.
Mali maintained a “peaceful country” status until the military coup in September 2020.