West African leaders lift sanctions on Mali

The West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) decided Sunday to lift its suspension of Mali.

Mali can now rejoin the bodies and institutions of UEMOA, the monetary bloc said at the end of an ordinary summit held in Guinea-Bissau.

“Concerning Mali, the conference decided to lift its suspension from the organs and institutions of UEMOA taken on Jan. 9, 2022,” said the final communique of the union’s heads of state and government.

The Malian junta currently in power staged a coup on Aug, 18, 2020 and a second one in May 2021, triggering sanctions against the country by various sub-regional institutions.

The West African leaders gave no further details on the lifting of Mali’s suspension in the communique. 

However, they did welcome “the resilience of the zone’s economies, whose economic growth rate is forecast at 7% in 2023 after 5% in 2022, despite the shocks experienced internationally and within the community.”

They also noted with satisfaction the deceleration in the inflation rate in 2023, which would stand at 4.4%, or a drop of 3.0 percentage points compared with last year.

The summit was also marked by the election of Nigerian President Bola Tinubu as chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

He replaces his Guinea-Bissau counterpart Umaro Sissoco Embalo.

Tinubu expressed his and Nigeria’s dedication “to peace and progress.”

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