Director of the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Prof. Kwesi Aning, has revealed that sanction of regimes in West Africa are superficial interventions.
According to him, the sanctioned regimes form parts of mechanisms to bring about changes in reprehensible behaviour exhibited by people. Prof Aning explained that however, sanctions in West Africa have never been as such.
His comments follow ECOWAS upholding of the existing sanctions it imposed on Mali for failure by the transitional authorities to oversee a smooth political transition on January 9, 2022. Following this, ECOWAS included additional sanctions against Mali.
“Sanctioned regimes are just superficial interventions and part of a set of tools in the instrument boxes of international organisations to try to bring about changes in bad behaviour. The history of the sanctions regime in West Africa has not been very successful and they only work against the regime or weaken the country”.Prof. Kwesi Aning
Prof Aning explained that there is a certain hypocrisy when sanctions are applied by international institutions to a particular country. He expressed that if one looks critically at the “processes leading to the Malian crisis”, there should have been an application of sanctions even against a democratic regime in Mali and in Guinea prior to the coup d’état.
He reckoned that the inability of the Sub-Saharan region to be consistent in its application of sanctions is what has accounted for the crisis of national independence in the region.
“It is this hypocrisy and our inability to be consistent in the application of the instruments in the toolbox that has now transformed this primarily very domestic crisis into the crisis of national sovereignty, pan Africanism and pride”.Prof. Kwesi Aning
Sanctions imposed on Mali
The sanctions imposed on Mali includes withdrawal of all ECOWAS Ambassadors in Mali, closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Mali, suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Mali, freeze of assets of the Republic of Mali in ECOWAS Central Banks among others.
El-Ghassim Wane, Special Representative of the Secretary‑General and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), disclosed that the sanctions were imposed by ECOWAS as it judged the transitional authorities’ proposed timeline for presidential elections for the end of 2025, which was found to be unacceptable. That notwithstanding, he indicated that such measures will be reviewed and gradually lifted with the finalization of an acceptable timetable for elections and progress towards its implementation.
Mr Wane revealed that Mali reciprocated by announcing the recall of its ambassadors and closure of borders with ECOWAS member States. Turning to the international mediation efforts led by Algeria, he noted that the collective met on 5th January and called for a decision-making meeting among Malian signatories to be held in the coming weeks, and to enable overdue progress, notably on global disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, based on the Government’s concrete offer to integrate 26,000 combatants in the next two to three years.
Also addressing the Council, Adam Dicko, a social activist and Executive Director of the Youth Association for Active Citizenship and Democracy, touching on the deteriorating security situation prevailing in the country, pointed out that the current military response is inadequate due to its limits and inability to defeat or even contain the threat.
“Mali must not become the new site of clashes between global Powers”.Adam Dicko