ECOWAS lifts sanctions on Niger,Mali, Burkina Faso

-Urge Burkina Faso, Mali to reconsider withdrawal

By Samuel Ogunsona

The Economic Community of West African States under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu has lifted the sanctions imposed on Niger, Mali and Burkina-Faso.

The three countries earlier left the regional body after dispute on the overthrow of their various democratically elected governments.

The new development includes lifts on travel ban and suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS member states and Niger.

In a communique read by the commission president, Omar Touray, on Saturday, the subregional body resolved to lift with immediate effect.

According to the president, “suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS member states and Niger is to be lifted.

“Freezing of all service transactions including utility services is to be lifted.

“Freezing of assets of the Republic of Niger in ECOWAS Central banks is to be lifted.

“Freezing of assets of Niger State and the state enterprises and parastatals in commercial banks is to be lifted.

“Suspension of Niger from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions particularly EBID and BIRD is to be lifted.

“Travel ban on the government officials and their family members is also to be lifted.” He stated

Touray mentioned that the decision is based on humanitarian considerations and the preparation for the holy month of Ramadan.

According to him, “The authority has also resolved to lift the sanctions regarding the recruitment of Malian citizens in statutory and professional positions within ECOWAS.

“The Authority has also resolve to lift financial and economic sanctions on the Republic of Guinea.

“The Authority has also instructed the President of the Commission to invite Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, and Guinea, to attend the technical and consultative meetings of ECOWAS as well as all security related meetings.

“The authority calls on ECOWAS institutions, member states and other regional institutions to implement this decision,” ha said.

The body also stated that they have received withdrawal notifications from the three countries but urge the member states to reconsider their decisions for the future and benefit of it citizens.

“The authority expresses its concern over the socio economic, political, security and humanitarian impact of the decision, particularly on the citizens of the three countries and on the regional integration process.

“The authority further urges the three member states to resort to dialogue, negotiations and mediation to address their concerns.

“The authority urges the three member states to adhere to the provisions of the 1993 revised treaty relating to withdrawal particularly article 91.

“The authority encourages ECOWAS to sustain its rapprochement and overtures towards the three member states and continue to remain seized of the situation.

The authority or just ECOWAS to engage African Union, (UNMOA), UN and other international organizations in its dialogue with the three countries.

“The authority encourages a broader outreach, which should include traditional, religious leaders, eminent personalities, civil society and women leaders for the unity and security of the regional.” He stated.

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