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Ecowas signals it might lift sanctions imposed on Mali

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The West African regional bloc, ECOWAS has hinted it might lift sanctions imposed on Mali following last month’s coup.

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

Ecowas leaders had asked the Military leaders to appoint a civilian to head the transitional government for 18 months.

On Monday Mali’s former defence minister, retired Col. Major Ba N’Daou was named as interim president by the military junta.

Ba N’Daou will be sworn in on September 25 so he can oversee the 18-month transition period towards a return to civilian rule.

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The Head of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, Colonel Assimi Goïta himself will also be sworn in as transitional vice-president.

He has called for the lifting of sanctions following this latest move to name a civilian as head of the transitional government.

Ecowas envoy, the former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan arrived in Mali on Wednesday to assess progress made in resolving the crisis in Mali.

He said on his arrival that the military officers were acceding to international calls for a transition to civilian rule.

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Jonathan told reporters that “ECOWAS doesn’t want any sanctions in any part of the community.”

He said it is up to the Ghanaian President and current ECOWAS chair, Nana Akufo-Addo to announce a lifting of sanctions.

“I believe that on Friday after the inauguration, probably he will make that pronouncement,” Jonathan said.

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