News

ECOWAS Suspends Mali, Sends Military Delegation to Bamako

ECOWAS spokesman Sonny Ugoh says the regional group wants to send a message that there is no reward for military escapades.

Mali coup leader, Captain Amadou Sanogo
Mali coup leader, Captain Amadou Sanogo

Multimedia

Audio
James Butty

A delegation of Chiefs of Defense Staff from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will travel to Mali Wednesday to inform the military junta ECOWAS wants the country returned to democratic rule.

ECOWAS spokesman Sonny Ugoh said the military delegation is expected to be followed later in the week by another delegation comprising six ECOWAS heads of state.

Tuesday, ECOWAS suspended Mali’s membership in the regional group following last week’s military coup d’that toppled democratically elected President Amadou Toumani Touré.

Ugoh said ECOWAS is sending a message to the junta in Mali that there is no reward for military escapades.

“It’s one of the basic things we do when you have this kind of intrusion by the military into governance, and it is in the spirit of our commitment to our regional protocol and democracy and governance through which we insist on zero tolerance for power opting through any other means apart from [the] democratic process,” he said.

Ugoh said the military delegation will deliver a strong mesaage from ECOWAS’s about the military takeover.

“Beyond this suspension, tomorrow, a delegation of Chiefs of Defense Staff is heading there [Mali] with the mandate to sensitize the junta on the need to return to constitutional rule and to intimate them of further consequences that the region intends to impose on them should they refuse to heed the provision of regional leaders,” Ugoh said.

He said the heads of state agree to activate the ECOWAS standby force to send a stronger message that the region may consider the use of force if the junta in Bamako refuses to restore democracy.

“We believe that they will see the handwriting on the wall.  We believe that they will understand the gravity of the situation and the enormity of what confronts them,” he said.

Ugoh said a delegation of ECOWAS heads state is expected in Bamako later in the week as part of an overall regional effort to engage the junta leaders in Mali and to put pressure on the military leaders.

He said the regional leaders also discussed the possibility of applying economic sanctions.

“One of the prospects that they discussed is the possibility of a travel ban on members of the junta.  We want make them as uncomfortable as possible.  We want to demonstrate to them that there can be no reward for this kind of behavior, not just in their own case, but also as an example to others who might want to tow this line of adventurism, to discourage such behavior,” Ugoh said.

Ugoh said it is not fair to compare the role of ECOWAS peacekeepers in Ivory Coast during that country’s conflict in 2010.  He said ECOWAS has the resolve to deal with peace and security in the sub-region.

“The French, who intervened in the case of Cote d’Ivoire, did say that they did so at the behest of the UN, and the UN has primary responsibility for peace [and] stability in the whole world, West Africa included.  So, if indeed some power has been able to resolve the situation within the responsibility of the UN, I don’t think it would be fair enough to condemn a region,” Ugoh said.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs