Colonel Assimi Goita, leader of Malian military junta, attends an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) consultative meeting in Accra, Ghana September 15, 2020. REUTERS/ Francis Kokoroko//File Photo

Mali rejects and will not apply sanctions imposed by West Africa’s main political and economic bloc on neighboring Guinea in the aftermath of last year’s coup, Mali’s interim prime minister said on Wednesday.

Last week, the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed sanctions on Guinea’s ruling junta for delays to organize elections and restore democracy after seizing power last year.The measures include freezing junta members’ financial assets and barring them from traveling to other countries in the region. Mali was hit with even broader sanctions earlier this year after its ruling junta also delayed organising elections.

“Taking into account the solidarity and fraternity between Mali and Guinea, the transitional government has decided to break away from all illegal, inhumane and illegitimate sanctions imposed on (Guinea) and will take no action on them,” Mali’s government spokesman and interim prime minister, Abdoulaye Maiga, said in a statement.

He also said Mali would, if necessary, take measures to assist Guinea in order to counteract the effect of the sanctions.

The implications of Mali’s refusal to implement sanctions were not immediately clear.

Mali also railed against the sanctions ECOWAS imposed on it in January, which it said were illegitimate and inhumane. The bloc lifted some of the sanctions in July after Mali’s military rulers proposed a two-year transition to democracy and published a new electoral law.

Guinea’s junta leader Mamady Dumbouya proposed a three-year transition to elections in May, which ECOWAS rejected, saying it wanted to see a new plan by the end of July.

In the statement last week, the regional bloc gave Guinea until Oct. 22 to establish a “reasonable” timetable or face additional sanctions.

Source: Reuters

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