Six summits have already been dedicated to the situation in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea. The seventh will be held on July 3. (Photo: AP)
Six peaks were already held for nothing or almost. The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met at the conclusion of an extraordinary summit held on Saturday 4 June in Accra, Ghana, and were unable to reach an agreement on the sanctions against the ruling juntas in Mali, Burkina Faso. and Guinea. In the absence of an agreement, the decision to ease or tighten sanctions imposed on these countries is postponed to a later summit, scheduled for July 3. Two facts predicted the lack of consensus: first, the different views of the member states of the Economic Community of West African States, and then the confrontation between the subregional organization and the three countries, led by Mali, who refuse to bow to the demands of the Economic Community of West African States. Moreover, opinions on Mali are the most mixed: Quote byFrance Press agency One of the participants in the summit, on condition of anonymity, explained that the heads of state failed to agree. ” Especially in Mali The latter had to say in particular whether they had maintained, softened or even lifted the severe retaliatory measures imposed on Mali on January 9. As a reminder, the transitional military authority in Mali, which has been in power since the first coup in August 2020 , did not honor its initial commitment, made under pressure from the Economic Community of West African States, to give up the road 18 months after the elections promised in February 2022. When it went and as far as considering five additional years, the ECOWAS campaigned hard on 9 January, when borders were closed and trade and financial exchanges suspended, except for basic necessities.
However, according to analysts, Bamako will be willing to review this term downward given the still worsening economic and political situation. A United Nations report, published last week, notes that in the context of an already acute crisis, West African sanctions may ” affected Certain sectors and Deteriorating living conditions, especially for the poor Various champions indicated that there is room for compromise. Recently, the Senegalese Head of State and current President of the African Union, Macky Sall, spoke to the magazine African youth ” Maturity period of 16 to 24 months So far, the Economic Community of West African States has agreed to a maximum deadline of 16 months and indicated that sanctions will only be gradually lifted when Mali presents an acceptable timetable.
For shorter transitions
However, the crisis between the Economic Community of West African States and Burkina Faso, another country in the Sahel caught in the midst of jihadist unrest, on the other hand, persists, and is less serious than Mali. The two countries are currently only suspended from membership in the two bodies of the organization. But the junta in power intends to stay there for three years and expose their country to the wrath of the Economic Community of West African States. In Guinea, the putschists set the transition period at 36 months. While the people of Burkina Faso maintain a 3-year period before holding free elections, as stipulated in the transitional charter signed in early March. ” For Guinea, the Economic Community of West African States will have to take measures Describing this, the African Union president said: unimaginable » The 39-month period, which has since been reduced to 36 months, was taken over by Mamadi Domboya, the interim president of Guinea.
On the other hand, Burkina Faso It seems more reasonable According to the president of the African Union. The March summit gave Burkina Faso the same warning as Guinea. But at Ouagadougou’s request, ECOWAS dispatched a three-day mission at the end of May to assess the situation in Burkina Faso, where bloody jihadist attacks follow one another.
Since 2020, West Africa has experienced a series of coups. Alarmed by the threat of contagion in a vulnerable region, ECOWAS has since doubled down on summits, mediations and pressure to shorten so-called transition periods before civilians return to the leadership of their country. But it always ran into the resistance of the new strongmen, whether it was Colonel Asimi Guetta in Mali, Colonel Mamady Domboya in Guinea or Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, all of whom served as chiefs now and then. But according to some analysts, ECOWAS is not strong enough to pressure the putschists.
In addition, the new authorities in these countries invoke the seriousness of the crises they are facing, the security in Mali and Burkina Faso, and the social and political in the three countries. They want to have the time to come up with a plan.” Re-establish their state, and to organize fair elections. Facing the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), they wrap themselves in the vanguard of national sovereignty over the rules of governance in West Africa.