News

    ECOWAS Imposes Sanctions on Mali

    Delegates attend the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) summit dedicated to the recent military coup in Mali, on April 2, 2012, in Dakar.
    Delegates attend the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) summit dedicated to the recent military coup in Mali, on April 2, 2012, in Dakar.
    Anne Look

    The Economic Community of West African States has imposed severe financial and diplomatic sanctions on Mali as it continues to call for a return to constitutional order in the country.  Soldiers who seized power in Mali late last month have so far refused to step aside.  An emergency ECOWAS summit was held Monday in Dakar, Senegal.

    Effective immediately, ECOWAS has closed borders between Mali and member states.  Mali no longer has access to its neighbor's seaports.  The West African monetary union has cut off currency flow to Mali, which uses the regional CFA franc, and frozen the nation's assets.  ECOWAS has also imposed travel bans on junta members and frozen their personal assets.

    Monday marked the end of the 72-hour grace period ECOWAS had given to the junta to hand power back to civilians.

    The Tuareg Uprising

    • Tuaregs are an ethnically Berber, nomadic people in West Africa's Sahel and Sahara regions.
    • Tuareg fighters have staged multiple uprisings in Mali and Niger for greater autonomy.
    • Current Mali rebellion began in January after Tuareg fighters returned from Libya, where they fought for Moammar Gadhafi.
    • The conflict has driven about 100,000 Malians to neighboring countries, internally displaced more than 90,000.
    • Losses to Tuaregs prompted soldiers' coup in Bamako Thursday March 22.
    Source:Encyclopedia Brittanica, ICRC, France 24

    At the emergency meeting on Mali in Dakar Monday, Ivorian president and current ECOWAS head Alassane Ouattara said the military junta should step aside and return power to recognized constitutional authorities.

    He said, however, the fate of ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure would depend on ongoing negotiations between the regional bloc and the junta.  Mr. Toure is currently in an undisclosed location near the capital under the protection of his presidential guard.

    The sanctions will likely suffocate the landlocked country, which imports many of its daily necessities, including petrol.  ECOWAS says the sanctions will be in place until the military junta complies with the regional bloc's demands.

    Disgruntled soldiers overthrew President Toure on March 22.  The soldiers said the government had not adequately equipped them to fight Tuareg rebels in the north, including former pro-Qaddafi fighters who had returned heavily armed from the conflict in Libya.

    Tuareg rebels, and a splinter group of Islamist extremists, have taken advantage of the chaos caused by the military coup to push south.  Since Friday, they have seized three key northern strongholds, essentially giving them control of the northern half of the country.

    President Ouattara says ECOWAS member states will issue statements condemning the rebellion and warning rebels to stop their advance.  He says ECOWAS is immediately putting a military force on standby.  He says ECOWAS military chiefs will meet this week in Abidjan to prepare the activation of this force.

    ECOWAS is calling on Mali's constitutional government, once restored, to immediately open dialogue with the rebels with the aim of preserving the country's territorial integrity.

    Junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo announced Sunday that he was reinstating the constitution and would hold elections, though he did not specify a date.

    President Ouattara called the measures "a step in the right direction" but said concrete action must still be taken.

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora