The leaders of West African states, meeting in summit Thursday evening in New York, decided to take “progressive sanctions” against the military junta in Guinea. They denounce the inflexibility of the military for a date of return of civilians to power.
“We have decided to take sanctions against Guinea”, declared the president of the commission of the economic community of West African States (ECOWAS) Omar Aliou Touray, after a summit behind closed doors on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
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According to a document, “it was stopped the taking of progressive sanctions on individuals and against the Guinean junta”. “Very quickly, the current president of ECOWAS and the president of the ECOWAS commission will draw up a list of people to be sanctioned and, gradually, apply these sanctions”, according to this text confirmed by several participants.
The heads of ECOWAS met for several hours Thursday evening in New York in a soured climate between some of its members. The meeting had been preceded by the invectives of the Guinean junta against the current president of the organization.
All West African leaders meeting in New York, with the exception of Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso led by juntas and suspended from ECOWAS, also demanded the release of 46 Ivorian soldiers detained in Mali. The incident sparked a serious dispute between the two countries.
“We condemn the arrest of the Ivorian soldiers. On Tuesday, ECOWAS will dispatch the presidents of Ghana, Togo and Senegal to Mali to secure their release […] The time for coups d’etat is over,” insisted Omar Aliou Touray.