ECOWAS announces ‘progressive sanctions’ against Guinea junta

ECOWAS announces ‘progressive sanctions’ against Guinea junta

Published on: 09/23/2022 – 05:04 Modified on: 09/23/2022 – 05:28

At an extraordinary ECOWAS summit held in New York on Thursday evening, September 22, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the leaders of the West African states decided to impose “progressive sanctions” on the military junta in Guinea, given the inflexibility of the military set a date for civilians to return to power. They also decided, on the initiative of the Bissau-Guinea Presidency, to send a delegation to Bamako to meet with the Malian authorities.

Three hours behind the heavy closed doors of a New York conference center and a brief statement at the end: It was the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Gambian Omar Alieu Touray, who made it to the journalists, while the heads of state and ministers left the building without a word and with three empty chairs from Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea , suspended from the organization, reports our special correspondent in New York, Leonard Vincent.

In his opinion, the conclusion of the extraordinary summit lies in two points. First, “we have decided to impose sanctions on Guinea,” announced the ECOWAS Commission Chairman. According to a document summarizing this meeting of heads of state, “it was decided to gradually impose sanctions on individuals and on the Guinean junta”. “Very quickly, the current President of ECOWAS and the President of the ECOWAS Commission will draw up a list of people to be sanctioned and gradually apply these sanctions,” the text says.

Second point, the reaffirmation of a principle: “Coups are unacceptable in the ECOWAS area,” said Omar Alieu Touray. He added that heads of state have always called for an “acceptable” transition period that is not the case today :

“ECOWAS is firmly against coups, they are unacceptable,” summarizes Omar Alieu Touray, President of the organization’s Conakry Sanctions Commission

The discussion was “open” and the consensus “arose from conviction”, explained Omar Alieu Touray. Different approaches have been expressed, confides a diplomat, on the nature of the sanctions against Guinea: “heavy” or “progressive” depending on your point of view.

“High level mission” over Bamako and imprisoned Ivorian soldiers

A diplomatic approach was agreed for Mali: A “high-level mission” consisting of the presidents of Togo, Senegal and Ghana will travel to Bamako “very soon”, according to the Commission President. Again, no accuracy: a diplomatic source says it could be Tuesday, September 27th.

All heads of state in the sub-region, said Omar Alie Touray, agree to call for the “immediate and unconditional” release. of the 46 Ivorian soldiers detained in the country since July 10th

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