The EU sanctions five members of the Mali junta, including the Prime Minister

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

A statement from EU member states accused the targets of “actions that hinder and undermine the successful completion of Mali’s political transition.”

In August 2020, Mali’s military ousted an elected government. The military regime has promised to return to civilian rule but has been accused of withdrawing.

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

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

“The five designated persons are subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territories, and a freezing of assets,” the statement said.

Apart from 63-year-old Maiga, the prime minister of the so-called transitional regime, four other top officials were targeted.

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

Colonel Ismail Wague, a 46-year-old reconciliation minister, had announced the coup and was considered “threatening peace, security and stability in Mali”.

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

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

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


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