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Revoke sanctions against Mali to end starvation, hardships — YPS-Africa petitions Akufo-Addo

By Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Headlines Revoke sanctions against Mali to end starvation, hardships — YPS-Africa petitions Akufo-Addo
JAN 27, 2022 LISTEN

Youth for Peace and Security Africa (YPS-Africa) has petitioned Chairman for the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to see to it that sanctions imposed on Mali are revoked.

At an extraordinary summit of the leaders of the West African States early this month after the military government demanded a longer transition period following a coup last May, the bloc chose to impose some sanctions on the Republic of Mali.

The sanctions include withdrawal of ECOWAS ambassadors from Mali; the closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Mali; and the suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS member states and Mali.

Although the sanctions were rejected by the United Nations Security Council, they have been enforced.

In a petition to ECOWAS chair H.E Akufo-Addo, YPS-Africa has described the sanctions on Mali as draconian, insisting that it is killing thousands of Malians on a daily basis due to the hardship it has brought to families.

“The People of Mali are literally dying on daily bases in thousands out starvations, suicide, frustrations, depressions, and of lack of vital medicine. This was not what ECOWAS promised the people,” part of the petition to ECOWAS chair Akufo-Addo who is also president of Ghana reads.

The petition adds, “These sanctions are killing people. ECOWAS is killing innocent and poor Malians. This is a genocide. Why should ordinary Malians be punished for something they have no power to control? The poor Malians do not command the military, and do not control the armory of Mali. What is their offense?

In an appeal, Youth for Peace and Security Africa wants H.E Akufo-Addo to intervene and have all sanctions against Mali revoked.

“In view of the above unintended hardships, deaths, and depression these draconian sanctions have brought directly on the innocent Malians, we humbly request an urgent, humanitarian, and passionate actions to revoke all the sanctions on the people of Mali,” the petition pleads.

Meanwhile, Youth for Peace and Security Africa has urged ECOWAS to continue to explore diplomatic means in dealing with the situations in Mali since any military intervention will kill innocent people.

Below is a copy of the petition from YPS-Africa:

H.E. PRESIDENT NANA AKUFO ADDO

THE CHAIRPERSON

ECOWAS AUTHORITY OF

HEADS OF STATES AND GOVERNMENT

ACCRA

H.E. PRESIDENT FELIX-ANTOINE TSHISEKEDI

THE CHAIRPERSON

AFRICAN UNION

ADDIS ABABA

Dear Your Excellency,

PETITION:

ECOWAS SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON MALI- A REVIEW OF THE DRACONIAN PUNISHMENTS THAT ARE KILLING THE POOR AND INNOCENT CITIZENS, PAINFULLY AND SLOWLY

Youth for Peace and Security Africa, YPS-Africa is the largest network of African youth being engaged and equiped with skills and responsibilities to prevent and resolve violent and bloody conflicts and crimes in their communities. YPS-Africa was registered in Ghana in 2012 with the vision, ‘A Safe and Developed Africa’. It has members and volunteers in 21 African countries who are leading peacebuilding in their communities under the slogan, ‘Making Africa safer for better development’.

We acknowledge the growing challenges faced by ECOWAS on the continent. We also appreciate the efforts and the interventions of the bloc in addressing some of the challenges. At an extraordinary summit of the leaders of the West African States, after the failure of ECOWAS to reach an agreement with the Transitional Government of Republic of Mali, the bloc chose to impose some draconian sanctions on the Republic of Mali. These sanctions, which were rejected by the United Nations Security Council, details: withdrawal of ECOWAS ambassadors from Mali; the closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Mali; and the suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS member states and Mali.

On paper, these severe sanctions may be intended to punish the leaders of the Transitional Government of the Republic of Mali and force them to submit to the dictates of ECOWAS but in effects, it is the innocent Malians who are being punished by ECOWAS. Sanctions in general, around the world, have only brought severe hardship to poor and innocent citizens. They did little to nothing to the leaders of governments. Sanctions have not forced or achieved any desired compromises anywhere. It still baffles YPS-Africa, why ECOWAS chose sanctions to deal with the complex situation in Mali.

The draconian sanctions, in effects in Mali: family members, husbands, brothers and sisters who work in ECOWAS countries cannot send money home to their sick mothers, pregnant wives, and children for medicines, food, education, healthcare and school fees. Petty traders and market women (some single parents) who rely on cross-border goods and services for their businesses are forced to close their trades and are now home. Huge companies are being forced to close down, creating more unemployment. The people of Mali have suffered enough before the imposition of these draconian sanctions by ECOWAS. No country can survive such a blockade, not even Qatar or America.

The People of Mali are literally dying on daily bases in thousands out starvations, suicide, frustrations, depressions, and of lack of vital medicine. This was not what ECOWAS promised the people. These sanctions are killing people. ECOWAS is killing innocent and poor Malians. This is a genocide. Why should ordinary Malians be punished for something they have no power to control? The poor Malians do not command the military, and do not control the armory of Mali. What is their offense?

If the putting of these severe sanctions on the people of Mali was to force them to remove the military government, then that is unfair. How are sick grandparents, pregnant women, children, petty traders and market women suppose to take guns and bomb against the military government? That is a suicide and impossible mission, no matter how hard ECOWAS punishes these innocent and suffering people.

Our humble demands

In view of the above unintended hardships, deaths, and depression these draconian sanctions have brought directly on the innocent Malians, we humbly request an urgent, humanitarian, and passionate actions to revoke all the sanctions on the people of Mali.

We also ask ECOWAS to continue to explore diplomatic means in dealing with the situations in Mali since any military intervention will kill innocent people. Thank you.

Yours Faithfully

………………...

ABRAHAM KORBLA KLUTSEY

Executive Director: YPS-Africa and CNPSA

Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo

Journalist

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