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Military Rule: ECOWAS lifts sanctions on Mali, accepts Burkina Faso’s junta plan but Guinea wasn’t lucky

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Report coming out of Accra, Ghana, venue of the ongoing summit of the leadership of regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS says the regional bloc has lifted economic and financial sanctions imposed on Mali.

The sanctions were lifted following Mali’s military rulers proposal of a 24-month transition to democracy and published a new electoral law.

The military junta led by Colonel Assimi Goita in June created a body charged with responsibility for writing a new Constitution. The government had through a decree read on state television said that Bamako will be returned to civil rule after twenty-four months.

ECOWAS had initially said it regrets the decision of Colonel Goita to extend the duration of the transition.

ECOWAS leaders also accepted a pledge from the junta that seized power in Burkina Faso in January to restore constitutional order in 24 months.

The regional bloc however rejected a 3-year transition proposed by coup leaders who seized power in Guinea in September. It requested that Guinea’s junta to propose a new timeline by the end of July or face economic sanctions.

Recall that having received “proposals” for a political transition, the junta in Guinea announced a 39 months transition period before the country returns to civilian rule.

The West African region has been rocked by two coups in Mali, one in Guinea and one in Burkina Faso since August 2020. The lifting of the sanctions is some sort of relief for the countries who cannot afford more economic restrains than the troubling cases of insurgency already caused them.

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Tunisia: Government, labour union, UGTT, agree on IMF intervention

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In Tunisia, the government of president Saide has finally reach agreement with the country’s main labour and commerce unions for economic reforms.

The pressure groups agreed with the government on Friday to start talks on Monday over economic reforms required by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a rescue programme.

According to the state news agency ,TAP, quoting a government statement, Prime Minister Najla Bouden, UGTT labour union chief Noureddine Taboubi and UTICA commerce union chief Samir Majoul had agreed a “social contract” to tackle national challenges.

The UGTT which represents a vast syndicate of workers, has been a major critic of IMF economic reforms proposed by the government, including subsidy cuts, a public sector wage freeze and the restructuring of state-owned companies. It previously said, such reforms would increase the suffering of Tunisians and lead to an imminent social implosion.

In May, Tunisia reached an agreement with the European Union to secure a €300 million loan facility to cushion the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The North Africa country is seeking $4 billion in IMF support amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine, though diplomat sources told Reuters any IMF programme approved would be unlikely to reach that level.

Efforts to secure the IMF bailout have been complicated by Tunisia’s political upheavals since President Kais Saied seized most powers a year ago, shutting down parliament and moving to rule by decree.

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Mali’s Prime Minister, Choguel Maiga, on “forced rest” by doctors

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The Prime Minister’s office in troubled West African country, Mali has revealed that doctors have put the PM, Choguel Maiga on compulsory rest.

The doctors’ order comes after months of intense exertion, his office said on Saturday. The office however denied media reports that he had been hospitalised after suffering a stroke.

An exert from his Facebook account reads “After 14 months of working without a break, the prime minister, head of government, Choguel Kokalla Maiga was placed on forced rest by his doctor”

“He will resume his activities next week, God-willing.”

Maiga, who is a former opposition leader, was named prime minister by the ruling junta of Colonel Goita June last year.

Maiga has been one of the government’s most outspoken voices in repeated public rows with West African neighbours and international partners who have criticised its military cooperation with Russian mercenaries and repeated election delays.

Mali has been in the eye of terror storm since war started in January 2012 between the northern and southern parts of Mali in Africa with several insurgent groups, Jihadist and separatist fighters with affiliations with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

Despite, insecurity being one of excused reasons for Colonel Goita’s military take government, much does not seemed to have been achieved as the country is still prone to continues terrorists attacks.

 

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