Security Expert, Prof. Kwesi Anning says the sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Mali will not bite but only affect ordinary citizens.
The Director of Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) warns that the punitive measures could trigger the anger of the people to fight ECOWAS.
Airline companies have started cancelling flights to Mali as the sanctions begin to kick in after the military regime’s delays to return the country to civilian rule.
“They are not going to be effective. It is only going to hit a very tiny elites who will manage to flout it again. The symbolic gestures themselves will contribute to deepening this term of national identity and national sovereignty.”
“It’s ordinary people who will suffer, will get bitter, will get angry and who might then want to join groups that can strike against those who have imposed these sanctions,” he stressed.
However, an International Relations Expert and former Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Emmanuel Bombande, believes the sanctions are beginning to bite.
“What has helped West Africa for more than 20 years are our protocols about peace and stability. The sanctions that we see applying, whereas we all wish we do not get to that point, are instruments for diplomatic engagements and nothing else.”
“Now that he is saying he’s willing to talk to ECOWAS leaders so that they can review the case, it tells you that the sanctions have already worked and we hope that that will be sooner than later and people will not suffer the consequences,” he noted.
At an Extraordinary Session held in Accra on Sunday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) maintained the existing sanctions it imposed on Mali, for failure by the transitional authorities to oversee a smooth political transition.
In a Communique issued after the meeting, ECOWAS agreed to uphold all existing sanctions against Mali and added new ones.
“In view of the above, the Authority upholds the sanctions already imposed on Mali and on the transition authorities. The Authority has also decided to impose additional economic and financial sanctions, in conformity with its deliberations at the Sixtieth Ordinary Session held on 12 December 2021 in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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