The decision was announced in a statement issued by the regional body after an emergency summit it held in Ghana to deliberate on developments in Mali.
The sanctions handed down would mean that all member states will close all land and air borders with the country while suspending the provision of non-essential financial services to the country, seizing the country’s assets that are in ECOWAS commercial banks and recalling their ambassadors from Mali’s capital to Bamako.
These efforts are meant to destabilize the military government after it reneged on its agreement with the body to hold elections this year. Although the country’s interim government, in its reaction to the ECOWAS decision, was immediate in declaring the body’s actions illegal through its spokesperson, Abdoulaye Maiga.
He said in his statement that “the government strongly condemns these illegal and illegitimate sanctions”, blaming the insurgency in the country as the reason it cannot proceed with its election plans.
ECOWAS continues to maintain its stance against military governments in the West African region with its latest decision, describing the interim government’s new timetable as “simply meaning that an illegitimate military transitional government will take the people of Mali Held hostage”.