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

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has lifted the economic sanctions imposed on Niger, Mali and Burkina-Faso. The lifting of the sanctions followed…

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has lifted the economic sanctions imposed on Niger, Mali and Burkina-Faso.

The lifting of the sanctions followed long hours of deliberations by the regional leaders at an extraordinary summit on the political, peace, and security situation in the sub region.

Announcing ECOWAS resolutions after their meeting, President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Touray, said the body had suspended the closure of the land and air border to Niger and a no-fly zone of all commercial flights.

He said they had 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.

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

Earlier, President Bola Tinubu called for the suspension of sanctions imposed on Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea.

Speaking at the Extra-ordinary Summit of ECOWAS in Abuja on Saturday, President Tinubu, who is the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the organization, said, the sanctions were aimed at “persuading our brothers that there existed a better path, a path that would lead to genuine improvement of their people’s welfare through democratic good governance. And this was a path each of our nations had solemnly agreed with one another pursuant to formal regional treaty and protocol.

The President explained that ECOWAS took the steps it did based on the regional ideals of security, social stability; democratic governance, political freedom, broad-based prosperity, and sustainable economic development through fair opportunity for each and every one in West Africa.

He said neither hatred nor hidden motive influenced the steps taken and that there was never any intention to douse or undermine the legitimate political aspirations of any member state or to advance the interests of any outside party.

The President asked that ECOWAS facilitate the unfettered flow of foodstuffs, medicines and other humanitarian items to the people of these nations, especially to the most vulnerable, adding that for Nigeria, this will also mean the prompt resumption of export of electric power to Niger.

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