West African leaders have imposed a wide range of stringent sanctions on the military junta in Mali.
The decision to implement sanctions – made in spite of the junta’s concession on Sunday lifting its suspension of Mali’s constitution – was taken in Dakar on Tuesday.
The move follows an extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) hastily convened while regional leaders were in Dakar to attend the inauguration of President Macky Sall of Senegal.
The paper said the head of Ecowas and chief French stooge, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, announced the closure of borders with Mali as well as the freezing of the country’s assets by the region’s central bank (which is controlled by France).
Agence France-Presse quoted Ouattara as announcing: “All diplomatic, economic, financial measures and others are applicable from today and will not be lifted until the re-establishment of constitutional order.”
The agency said non-Ecowas members Mauritania and Algeria who according to many reports are backing the Arab Islamists, which also border Mali, will join the embargo, and that Ecowas will put in place a regional military standby force. The junta in Bamako had “taken note” of the embargo.
Countries represented at the summit by their presidents included Benin (Yayi Boni), Burkina Faso (Blaise Compaore), Cape Verde (Jorge Carlos Fonseca), Côte d’Ivoire (Ouattara), Gambia (Yaya Jammeh), Ghana (John Atta Mills ), Guinea-Bissau (Raimundo Pereira), Guinea (Alpha Conde), Liberia (Ellen Johnson Sirleaf), Niger (Mouhamadou Issoufou), Sierra Leone (Ernest Bai Koroma) and Togo (Faure Ggnassingbé), reports Agence de Presse Sénégalaise from Dakar.