France backs ECOWAS sanctions against Mali

Punch

President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that France fully backed sanctions imposed by West Africa’s economic bloc against Mali after its military-dominated government delayed elections after a coup.

“We support this position,” Macron, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, told reporters alongside visiting EU Council President Charles Michel.

“We are in complete solidarity with the region and with this very courageous and clear stance” by the Economic Community of West African States, he added.

As well as closing borders and imposing a trade embargo, Mali’s regional neighbours also cut off financial aid and froze the country’s assets at the Central Bank of West African States.

The move followed a proposal by Mali’s interim government last month to stay in power for up to five years before staging elections, despite international demands that it respect a promise to hold elections in February.

Macron said the “unprecedented sanctions” were a sign of “deep condemnation of the behaviour of the military junta” in Mali and its “absolute failure” to respect its commitments.

He vowed that with EU states contributing to a multinational Takuba force to help France’s existing Barkhane operation, the EU would “Europeanise” its approach in the region.

Macron said that the EU was united with a “fully coherent position” on Mali and the “non-respect by the military junta as…

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