ECOWAS sanctions against Mali will not be effective – Prof. Aning

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Director of Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Prof. Kwesi Aning

Director of the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Prof. Kwesi Aning has raised doubts about the effectiveness of ECOWAS’ sanctions against Mali.

He contended that the sanctions are just a superficial interventions by ECOWAS.

In an interview with JoyNews, Prof. Kwesi Aning said sanctions in West Africa have never been successful.

“Sanction regimes are just superficial interventions and part of a set of tools in the instrument boxes of international organisations to try to bring about changes in bad behaviour. The history of the sanctions regime in West Africa has not been very successful and they only work against the regime or weaken the country.

There is a certain hypocrisy in when sanctions are applied by international institutions and to which particular country, because if we look at the processes leading to the Malian crisis, we ought to have applied sanctions even against a democratic regime in Mali and also in Guinea prior to the coup d’etat,” he said.

He explained that the inability of the Sub-Saharan region to be consistent in its application of sanctions is what has accounted for the crisis of national sovereignty in the region.

“It is this hypocrisy and our inability to be consistent in the application of the instruments in the toolbox that has now transformed this primarily very domestic crisis into the crisis of national sovereignty, pan Africanism and pride,” he added.

On Sunday, January 9, 2022, ECOWAS upheld the existing sanctions it imposed on Mali for failure by the transitional authorities to oversee a smooth political transition.

ECOWAS further included additional sanctions against Mali.

These additional sanctions include: Withdrawal of all ECOWAS Ambassadors in Mali; Closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Mali; Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Mali, with the exception of the following products: essential consumer goods; pharmaceutical products; medical supplies and equipment, including materials for the control of COVID-19; petroleum products and electricity.

The rest are; Freeze of assets of the Republic of Mali in ECOWAS Central Banks; Freeze of assets of the Malian State and the State Enterprises and Parastatals in Commercial Banks; Suspension of Mali from all financial assistance and transactions from all financial institutions”, the Communique from ECOWAS said.

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