West Africa slams total embargo on Mali junta


On the sidelines of the swearing-in of Senegal’s new leader, Mack Sall, West African leaders on Monday slapped Mali’s junta with a complete embargo, closing borders to trade and freezing access to the country’s bank account, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said.

“All diplomatic, economic, financial measures and others are applicable from today (Monday) and will not be lifted until the reestablishment of constitutional order,” said Ouattara, the chairman of a 15-nation regional bloc.

The West African leaders have also decided to put an ECOWAS military force, ECOMOG, on stand by.

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“We have decided to immediately put in place the ECOWAS standby force, asking the committee of chiefs of staff to meet in Abidjan this week to decide on the method of activating this force,” Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said Monday.

The Malian junta already facing a Tuareg rebellion north of the country announced yesterday that it was ready to cede power and restore the constitution.

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