West African nations sever links with Mali over election delay
West African nations plan to impose economic sanctions, sever diplomatic ties, and close their borders with Mali following a delay in its elections following a 2020 military coup. Mali’s interim authorities have proposed holding elections in December of 2025 rather than February 2022. The February 2022 date was agreed on by the 15-state bloc and these measures from the Economic Community of West African States show a hardening of its stance towards Mali.
The proposed timeline of returning back to constitutional rule was deemed unacceptable by the bloc and many of the sanctions will take immediate effect. Non-essential financial transactions will be suspended, Malian state assets in the ECOWAS commercial banks will be suspended, ambassadors will be recalled, and members of the bloc will close their land and air borders with Mali. In addition, all financial institutions under the regional monetary union UEMOA will suspend Mali, severing the country’s access to regional financial markets. The government of Mali called the sanctions illegal and illegitimate and will also close its borders, recall its ambassadors and may reconsider its membership in the ECOWAS and UEMOA.