• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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ECOWAS lifts Niger Republic sanctions, urges Burkina Faso, Mali to reconsider withdrawal

ECOWAS meets on Niger

The Authority of the Heads of States of the Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS) on Saturday lifted sanctions imposed on Niger Republic and urged the country along with Burkina Faso and Mali to reconsider their plans to withdraw from ECOWAS.

In a communique read by Omar Touray, President of ECOWAS Commission, the subregional body resolved to lift with immediate effect the following measures imposed on the Republic of Niger.

The decision which was imposed in July, 2023, following the Military Coup that ousted Mohammed Bazoum, will affect closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Niger.

It will further affect the no Fly Zone of all commercial flights to and from Niger.

According to the ECOWAS president, “suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS member states and Niger is to be lifted.

“Freezing of all service transactions including utility services is to be lifted.

“Freezing of assets of the Republic of Niger in ECOWAS Central banks is to be lifted.

“Freezing of assets of Niger State and the state enterprises and parastatals in commercial banks is to be lifted.

“Suspension of Niger from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions particularly EBID and BIRD is to be lifted.

“Travel ban on the government officials and their family members is also to be lifted.”

Touray said the decision is based on humanitarian considerations especially as we are in the month of lent and as we prepare for the holy month of Ramadan.

According to him, “The authority has also resolved to lift the sanctions regarding the recruitment of Malian citizens in statutory and professional positions within ECOWAS.

“The Authority has also resolve to lift financial and economic sanctions on the Republic of Guinea.

“The Authority has also instructed the President of the Commission to invite Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, and Guinea, to attend the technical and consultative meetings of ECOWAS as well as all security related meetings.

“The authority calls on ECOWAS institutions, member states and other regional institutions to implement this decision,” ha said.

Speaking on the withdrawal of the three countries, the authority said it has taken note of the notifications by the three member states within the context of Article 91 of the 1993 ECOWAS revised treaty, but urged the countries to “reconsider the decision in view of the benefits that the ECOWAS member states and their citizens enjoy in the community.

“The authority expresses its concern over the socio economic, political, security and humanitarian impact of the decision, particularly on the citizens of the three countries and on the regional integration process.

“The authority further urges the three member states to resort to dialogue, negotiations and mediation to address their concerns.

“The authority urges the three member states to adhere to the provisions of the 1993 revised treaty relating to withdrawal particularly article 91.

“The authority encourages ECOWAS to sustain its rapprochement and overtures towards the three member states and continue to remain seized of the situation.

“The authority or just ECOWAS to engage African Union, (UNMOA), UN and other international organizations in its dialogue with the three countries.

“The authority encourages a broader outreach, which should include traditional, religious leaders, eminent personalities, civil society and women leaders for the unity and security of the regional.”