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Mai Fatty welcomes Ecowas sanction on Mali

Mai Fatty welcomes Ecowas sanction on Mali

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By Omar Bah

The leader of the Gambia Moral Congress and former Interior Minister has welcomed Ecowas’ decision to impose sanctions against the Malian junta.

Leaders of the Western African regional bloc, Ecowas, imposed sanctions on Mali on Sunday after the government announced a long delay to the election originally planned for February.

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They also agreed to cut financial aid and freeze Mali’s assets at the Central Bank of West African States. The bloc also decided to recall their ambassadors to Mali, saying a proposal by Mali’s military rulers to hold elections in December 2026 “simply means that an illegitimate military transition government will take the Malian people hostage during the next five years”. 

The junta has since strongly condemned sanctions.

But commenting on the matter for the first time, GMC leader Mai Fatty said: “I support the imposition of comprehensive sanctions against the Malian junta. However, the nature of the new sanctions imposed yesterday by ECOWAS, will inflict great suffering on ordinary Malians and may substantially increase an already debilitating living condition.

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“I would have advocated for targeted sanctions against key Malian officials and institutions that may cripple the actual functioning of the State, without directly impacting the private sector and the international movement of ordinary Malians.”

The trained lawyer said the land, air, economic and diplomatic blockade may embolden civil resistance, accelerate the collapse of the regime in an uncoordinated and unpredictable manner, which may worsen the already deteriorating regional security in the Sahel, and present a new complex geo-political challenge to the region.

“Targeted sanctions, if properly implemented, shall weaken the regime while strengthening democratic political operatives with less adverse economic impact on ordinary Malians.

The immediate impetuous reaction of Col. Goita by closing Mali’s land borders is infantile and amateurish. It shows he is not the statesman to lift Mali out of the current quagmire,” he said.

Gambian politics

Turning to matters of Gambian politics, Fatty registered his profound disappointment over the level of political immaturity expressed by sections of the country’s political divides.

“There is so much polarisation and mistrust. There is so much political opportunism. Admittedly, these are negative tendencies prevalent in other democracies. In The Gambian case, our close-knit homogeneity should be a disabler in the cultivation of needless negativity. It is natural to differ, with intense but mature fervor,” he said.

After the peak political season, he added, “It is helpful, in our collective stead, that we close ranks to offer best ideas for the way ahead. Regrettably in The Gambia, political Parties can hardly agree on anything. In real politics, this is unrealistic.”

“It is hard for a Gambian to accept that a supporter of his political Party should commend or praise the good things he or she sees in an opposing political Party. In our politics, we entrenched the concept of extremity. It is deemed forbidden for an opposition to praise a national policy success of the ruling Party,” he noted.

Politics, Fatty stressed, is about progressive ideas and not “a war to inhibit or suppress good ideas if they reside with your competitor.”

“Such conduct is partisan extremism – the bane of Gambian politics. We may disagree on some issues but we must also learn to manage to work together, where national interests matter.”

“Let us endeavour to see the goodness in each other. We must build a Gambia of inclusion, tolerance and diversity. Unity of purpose is an indispensable ingredient in the scheme of things,” he concluded.

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