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‘Despite lifting inhumane sanctions imposed on Sahel states, ECOWAS shall answer for its legality in court’ — Group

Headlines YPSA executive director Abraham Korbla Klutsey
FEB 25, 2024 LISTEN
YPSA executive director Abraham Korbla Klutsey

Youth for Peace and Security Africa (YPSA) and the Citizens Network for Peace and Security in Africa (CNPSA) have decided to pursue legal action against the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) despite the lifting of sanctions on four Sahel states.

The rights groups filed a lawsuit in November 2023 at the ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja, challenging the legality of economic sanctions imposed by ECOWAS on citizens in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Guinea.

The sanctions, imposed after military coups in the countries, included financial restrictions, border closures and disruptions to basic services.

In a press release on Sunday, February 25, YPSA executive director Abraham Korbla Klutsey said, "While we received the news of the lifting of all sanctions with joy, we shall not withdraw our lawsuit against ECOWAS. Our objective is to challenge the legality of the sanctions, ensuring justice for the victims and holding ECOWAS accountable."

The rights groups allege that the ECOWAS sanctions disproportionately impacted civilians and led to shortages of essential goods like food and medicine.

Through their legal action, YPSA and CNPSA are asking the ECOWAS court to compel ECOWAS authorities to demonstrate the legal basis for these sanctions.

"Many innocent citizens suffered severe hunger and poverty, lost their businesses and jobs, died because of lack of medicine and electricity, they deserve justice,” Klutsey argued.

"Such illegal and inhumane sanctions must never be allowed on the African continent. The court must rule that,” they added.

If successful, the lawsuit could have far-reaching implications according to YPSA, saving "millions of innocent citizens from severe hunger, poverty, insecurity, bad healthcare, unemployment, and death,” which may result from another sanction going forward.

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Isaac Donkor Distinguished
Isaac Donkor Distinguished

News ReporterPage: IsaacDonkorDistinguished

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