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West African Countries May Lift Mali Sanctions After Interim President Sworn in Friday

Former Nigerian president and mediator for ECOWAS, Goodluck Jonathan, arrives to meet with Col. Assimi Goita, who has declared himself the leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, Aug. 24, 2020.

The leader of a delegation representing a bloc of West African countries is hoping that crippling sanctions against Mali will be lifted following Friday's inauguration of an interim president a month after a military coup.

Nigeria's former president, Goodluck Jonathan, who is the envoy for the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, praised the junta's leadership on his arrival in Mali Wednesday.

Jonathan told reporters, the soldiers who have taken power are doing a job in line with what the ECOWAS leaders wanted.

Jonathan stopped short of giving an ECOWAS endorsement to Colonel Bah Ndaw, the former defense minister who leads the junta that seized power after deposing President Boubacar Ibrahim Keita. Colonel Assimi Goita is set to become Mali‘s next vice president.

Jonathan said, Mali doesn't need sanctions which are not beneficial for the region and the rest of the world.