The sanctions placed on Mali which resulted in a 30% drop in imports into the landlocked country by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has been lifted.
In a statement, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said “heads of state and government have decided to lift sanctions” after noting positive steps towards a constitutional government.
It noted the publication of a roadmap for the transition period.
The 15-nation group imposed tough sanctions against one of Africa’s poorest countries after president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was ousted following mass protests.
The coup was bloodless but triggered widespread alarm among Mali’s neighbours.
A coup in 2012 was followed by an uprising in northern Mali which morphed into a bloody Islamist insurgency, claiming thousands of lives and threatening neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.
The ECOWAS sanctions, imposed on August 20, included border closures and a ban on commercial trade and financial flows but not basic necessities, drugs, equipment to fight coronavirus, fuel or electricity.
Under pressure, Mali’s junta endorsed a “charter” to restore civilian rule within 18 months and appointed a committee which chose 70-year-old retired colonel Bah Ndaw as interim president.
Despite this, ECOWAS insisted on the publication of the transition roadmap and warned it could not accept junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita, who is interim vice president, as Ndaw’s potential replacement.