Mali Shuts Borders With Ecowas Nations in Response to Sanctions

Assimi Goïta, center, at a U.N. Security Council meeting, October 24, 2021, in Bamako © Harandane Dicko/AP/SIPA

 Mali has decided to close its land and air borders with the Economic Community of West African States and to recall its ambassadors from member states in response to economic sanctions imposed on Mali by the regional bloc, the government said in a statement Monday. 

West African nations on Sunday imposed additional sanctions on the land-locked gold producer over the military-dominated government’s failure to meet a February deadline for elections. 

The sanctions include the closure of Mali’s borders for all but essential goods, freezing of its assets at the West African regional bank and restrictions on its operations with regional commercial banks. 

The government will “take all necessary measures” to respond to the sanctions imposed on Mali, it said in the statement. Due to possible deployment of Ecowas troops, the government calls on the defense and security forces, as well as the population “to remain mobilized”, according to the statement.