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UPDATED: ECOWAS lifts sanctions on Mali, Niger, Burkina-Faso

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The Economic Community of West African States on Saturday lifted economic sanctions on Niger, Mali and Burkina-Faso with immediate effect.

This happened after lengthy deliberations by the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government at an extraordinary summit on the political, peace, and security situation in the region in Abuja, Nigeria.

Announcing the Authority’s resolutions, President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Touray, said it has suspended the closure of the land and air border to Niger, a no-fly zone of all commercial flights.

It also suspended the freezing of all financial transactions between ECOWAS states and Niger, including transactions relating to the bloc’s central bank and the unfreezing of all of Niger’s assets at EBID.

It also lifted the travel ban on members of the military junta and their families.

Touray said the move is “based on humanitarian considerations due to lent and the approaching month of Ramadan.”

The authority also lifted sanctions on the election of Mali citizens to ECOWAS positions.

It also lifted sanctions on Guinea, inviting all four countries to attend technical consultative meetings of ECOWAS going forward.

ECOWAS also asked its withdrawing member states to reconsider their decision in view of the benefits enjoyed by their citizens.

DDM understands that a communique is expected at the end of the extraordinary summit.

Earlier this week, the sole surviving founding father of ECOWAS and former Nigerian Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon in an open letter to the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government urged them to remove the sanctions on Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger and also urged the three countries to withdraw their decision to exit the organization.

See also  Militia groups kill over 170 in Burkina Faso

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