France-Afrique: EU sanctions five members of Mali’s government, including the prime minister 0

The European Union on Friday imposed targeted sanctions on five members of Mali’s ruling junta, including Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga.

In a statement from EU member states the targets are accused of “actions that obstruct and undermine the successful completion of Mali’s political transition.”

In August 2020, Mali’s military ousted an elected government. The military regime has vowed a return to civilian rule but has been accused of dragging its feet.

In recent weeks tensions between Mali and former colonial power France have increased, and on Monday the junta ordered the French ambassador to leave.

France has some 4,000 troops deployed across West Africa’s Sahel region, half in Mali, and the crisis has called into question the future of its campaign against Islamist extremist militants.

“The five designated people are subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territories, and an asset freeze,” the statement said.

Aside from 63-year-old Maiga, the prime minister in the so-called transitional regime, four more top officials were targeted.

Also on the list is 42-year-old Malick Doaw, president of the National Transition Council and “one of the instigators and leaders of the August 18, 2020 coup”.

Colonel major Ismail Wague, 46-year-old minister for reconciliation, had announced the coup and is thus deemed to “threaten the peace, security and stability of Mali.”

Adama Ben Diarra, known as “Ben le Cerveau” or Ben the Brain, is a member of the transitional government accused of obstructing the holding of free elections.

And Ibrahim Ikassa Maiga, 50, is accused of playing a key role in the m5-REP movement that was involved in the overthrow of elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

All five figures are already subject to sanctions imposed by the West African regional bloc ECOWAS.

Source: AFP