Politics

ECOWAS lifts travel, economic sanctions, begs Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger to return

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has lifted economic and travel sanctions on Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea, which were imposed following military coups in the West African nations.

The regional body, however, said political sanctions are sustained, with specifying what such entails.

The decision was announced at the end of the extraordinary summit held in Abuja Saturday, by President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Touray, days after Niger banned Nigeria flights from its airspace.

Bola Tinubu, president of Nigeria, had earlier sought an end to the sanctions.

In return for the gesture, ECOWAS asked the affected countries to reconsider their decision to quit the regional body, in view of benefits enjoyed by their citizens.

ECOWAS imposed sanctions on the four countries in the aftermath of coups, staged against democratically elected governments. In January, Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso announced their exit from the ECOWAS.

Other decisions made at the extraordinary summit today include:

Closure of land and air borders to Niger and a no fly zone of all commercial flights suspended.

Freezing of all financial transactions between ECOWAS states and Niger, including transactions relating to the bloc’s central bank and the unfreezing of all of Niger’s assets at the EBID suspended.

Travel ban on members of Niger’s military junta and their families lifted.

Ban on the election of Malians to ECOWAS positions lifted.

Commercial sanctions on Guinea also lifted.

Reps of the four countries to attend technical consultative meetings of ECOWAS henceforth.

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