West African regional bloc Ecowas has said that it will not lift sanctions imposed on Mali although the country now has an interim president.
Mali’s former defence minister, retired Col. Major Ba N’Daou was sworn into office on Friday at a ceremony in the capital, Bamako.
Ba N’Daou was named interim leader by the soldiers who toppled the government of former president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.
The new leader is now expected to oversee the 18-month transition period towards a return to civilian rule.
The Head of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, Colonel Assimi Goïta was also sworn in as transitional vice-president.
The appointment of the 70-year old former defence minister is considered a fulfillment of certain conditions made by the West African regional bloc ECOWAS.
But Ecowas said until a civilian prime minister is appointed by the transitional government, sanctions imposed on Mali will not be lifted.
The Ecowas delegation currently in Mali, led by former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan told reporters that the regional bloc is only prepared to lift sanctions on Mali when a civilian prime minister is named.
Following swearing in of Mali’s new interim President, ECOWAS say sanctions will only be lifted once a civilian Prime Minister is appointed.
(Interim President is Retired colonel/former defence minister Bah Ndaw, VP is coup leader Assimi Goita) pic.twitter.com/b0PrRRAVgZ
— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) September 25, 2020
The sanctions on Mali include border closures and the suspension of financial flows, though these were eased so they did not hit ordinary civilians.