MEDIATION AND SECURITY COUNCIL PROPOSES MEASURES TO ADDRESS THREATS TO THE POLITICAL PROCESS IN MALI
5/21/2012 9:20:01 AM -
ABIDJAN, Côte d'Ivoire, May 21, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Ministers of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council (MSC) have proposed measures to address the current political developments in Mali in order to ensure the implementation of the programme for the restoration of constitutional rule in the country which is being threatened by the military junta.
Among the measures agreed at a one-day extraordinary session of the MSC is the despatch of a joint ECOWAS, AU and UN delegation to Mali to deliver a strong message to the military junta against meddling in the country's political process.
The decision to send the delegation was one of the outcomes of the Council's meeting held on Saturday, 19th May 2012 and attended by ministers of foreign affairs and their counterparts for defence which was dedicated to the political situations in Guinea Bissau and Mali.
This came amidst reports that the military junta (CNRDRE) that overthrew former President Amadou Toumani Toure on 22nd March 2012 was threatening to derail the interim political arrangement that was expected to result in the election of a President after a 12-month transition.
The Framework Agreement signed on 6th April 2012 by the junta with the facilitation of the ECOWAS Mediator led to the hand-over of power to the former Speaker of Parliament as Interim President, the appointment of a Prime Minister and a 12-month transition programme that will culminate in the election of a President for the country.
The Ministers also warned the leader of the junta, Capt. Amadou Sanogo to refrain from making public pronouncements including statements to the media which imply he is still in control, warning that failure to comply with these decisions would result in the reinstatement of targeted sanctions against members of the junta and their associates.
The sanctions were originally imposed by the Authority of Heads of State and Government at its Extraordinary Summit of 29th March 2012 in response to the coup but were lifted after the 6th April 2012 Agreement under which the junta consented to the transition arrangement and agreed to return to the barracks.
The comprehensive sanctions to be imposed include political, economic and financial including the suspension of Mali's membership of ECOWAS, the recall of ECOWAS Ambassadors from the country, travel ban on members of the CNRDRE and their associates, and the closure of the country's borders and air space with ECOWAS Member States, except for humanitarian purposes.
On the economic side, the sanctions involve the freeze of the assets of the leaders of the CNRDRE and their associates and denying the country access to the seaports of ECOWAS Member States.
Among the financial sanctions to be imposed is the freezing of the country's accounts with the Central Bank of West Africa (BCEAO) while private banks will be prevented from procuring funds from the bank for the benefit of the Government. All financial assistance to Mali through the West African Bank for Development (BOAD) and the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) would also be frozen.
On Guinea Bissau, the MSC endorsed the on-going transitional process and demanded the immediate reconvening of the National Assembly to extend its mandate and elect a new Speaker. The Council also demanded the establishment of the remaining organs of the transition including a broad based Government of National Unity which will define urgent task to be undertaken with timelines.
The Ministers also urged member states that have pledged troops to the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB) to expedite action towards the full deployment of the 629 strong mixed force. It requested immediate financial assistance to the country to meet contingencies while the ECOWAS Commission was directed to revive the International Contact Group on Guinea Bissau.