The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has on Friday said it will uphold sanctions placed on Mali until the country appoints a civilian prime minister. The sanctions "will be lifted when a civilian prime minister is named", ECOWAS Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou said. The West African bloc slapped sanctions on Mali after a military coup led by Colonel Assimi Goita overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita's government last month. The sanctions include a ban on commercial trade as well as financial flows except for necessities like drugs, fuel, electricity, and equipment used in curbing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mali has on Friday sworn an interim civilian leader, Bah Ndaw a former defence minister who is expected to lead alongside his vice, Goita for 18 months before an election is conducted in a bid to return to a tentative civilian rule.
In his speech, Ndaw vowed to honour the transition roadmap, assuring to step down and hand over power within 18 months.
"Mali has given me everything. I am happy to be its submissive slave, willing to do everything for it to return to full constitutional legality, with elected authorities, legitimate representatives.
"The transition period which begins will not dispute any international undertaking by Mali, nor the agreements signed by the government," Ndaw said during the ceremony.