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Newsline: EU Diplomats Say Members of Mali’s Junta to Be Blacklisted

The European Union has agreed to impose travel bans and asset freezes on five members of Mali’s junta after the military rulers went back on an agreement to organise elections in February, three diplomats said. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-02-01/eu-to-blacklist-five-members-of-malis-junta-diplomats-say) The measures, which have political support of all 27 EU governments and should take effect later this month, follow a raft of restrictions against Mali by the ECOWAS grouping of West African states that has condemned the transitional military government’s attempts to extend its rule. The names of the five individuals to be sanctioned were not immediately available. The diplomats said they were junta officials also targeted by ECOWAS. Mali’s foreign and defence ministers will not be targeted in order to keep diplomatic channels open, the diplomats said. The EU travel bans and asset freezes are unlikely to have an immediate impact on the junta in Bamako but seek to make good on the bloc’s promise to support ECOWAS, even if the measures are more limited than those of the regional bloc. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Friday that Mali’s junta was “illegitimate” amid escalating tensions between the West African state and its European partners following two coups. That prompted Mali to expel France’s ambassador on Monday, giving him 72 hours to leave, and marking a low in relations after the junta went back on its agreement to organise elections in February. It proposes holding power until 2025.

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