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Ecowas lifts sanctions imposed on Mali

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The West African regional group, Ecowas has announced the lifting of sanctions imposed on Mali after soldiers toppled the government of ex-President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Ecowas immediately imposed the sanctions on Mali in August when the coup was carried out by soldiers, a move that was meant to return Mali to a civilian rule.

The sanctions on Mali included border closures and the suspension of financial flows, though these were eased so they did not hit ordinary civilians.

Mediation efforts were rolled out urging the soldiers to handover to a civilian led transitional government.

Last month Mali’s former defence minister, retired Col. Major Ba N’Daou was sworn into office as interim leader by the soldiers.

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The new leader then appointed former foreign affairs minister of the country, Moctar Ouane as civilian prime minister.

The interim government is now expected to oversee the 18-month transition period towards a return to civilian rule.

Ecowas said in a statement that “Taking into account the notable progress made towards a constitutional normalisation, and the support the process, the heads of states have decided to lift the sanctions on Mali, and called on partners to support Mali.”

The regional bloc is hoping other international bodies will also support Mali as it continues to work towards holding elections.

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