ACCRA - West Africa's main regional bloc on Sunday agreed to close borders with Mali and impose sweeping economic sanctions in response to "unacceptable" delays holding promised elections after a 2020 military coup.
The decision followed a summit of leaders of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to discuss a proposal from Mali's transitional authorities to hold elections in December 2025 instead of next month as originally agreed.
In a communique ECOWAS said it found the proposed timetable for a transition totally unacceptable.
This timetable "simply means that an illegitimate military transition Government will take the Malian people hostage," it said.
The 15-member bloc said it had agreed to impose additional sanctions with immediate effect, including the closure of members' land and air borders with Mali, the suspension of non-essential financial transactions, and the freezing of Malian state assets in ECOWAS central and commercial banks.
There was no immediate response from the Malian authorities.