The leader of the ECOWAS regional bloc said West African states will uphold sanctions on Mali until it appoints a civilian prime minister, reported Africa News.
The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States imposed sanctions on Mali after the military last month, which toppled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. The junta took control of the country after ousting President Keita.
The sanctions include a ban on commercial trade and financial flows. Basic necessities, drugs, equipment to fight the coronavirus pandemic, fuel or electricity have been exempted from the sanctions.
The sanctions “will be lifted when a civilian prime minister is named”, ECOWAS Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou said on Friday after the inauguration of the Malian transitional president.
Earlier this week, Mali’s military government presented a charter to restore civilian rule after the coup and appointed a committee that chose retired Colonel and former Defence Minister Bah Ndaw as interim president. The interim president will rule for a maximum of 18 months before staging nationwide elections.
Ndaw was sworn in as Mali’s interim president during a ceremony on Friday held in the capital, Bamako. During the same ceremony, coup leader Colonel Assimi Goita was also sworn in as the vice president of the transition. They took the oath of office in front of several hundred military officers, political leaders and diplomats.
During the ceremony, Ndaw promised to honour the plan or “transition charter” and hand over power within 18 months.
“The charter is my guidebook,” Mali’s new interim president said at the ceremony.
“Mali has given me everything. I am happy to be its submissive slave, willing to do everything for it to return to full constitutional legality, with elected authorities, legitimate representatives,” Ndaw said. “The transition period which begins will not dispute any international undertaking by Mali, nor the agreements signed by the government.”