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Faced with the Malian crisis, has ECOWAS missed its appointment with history?
Press Release  Posté le 24-01-2022 09:59, modifié le 24-01-2022 09:59 par Tournons la Page

Deprived of security and fundamental, civic, economic and social rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and the ECOWAS Additional Protocol A/SP1/12/01, the Malian people cannot be punished a second time by the adoption of illegal and unjust sanctions against them. Because they risk further deteriorating access to basic social services for Malian citizens, the ECOWAS, WAEMU and BCEAO sanctions must be reviewed in favor of an equitable compromise that respects human rights and allows for the restoration of peace, security and the holding of independent, free, transparent and inclusive elections within a reasonable timeframe. TLP does not support the presence of a junta in power and calls on all national and international political actors to cease the martial injunctions and bellicose decisions that are digging the bed of an insurmountable crisis.

For more than a decade, Mali has been going through a political and social security crisis that the Malian state and governments, ECOWAS, and the national and international armed forces have been unable to resolve. The triggers of this multi-faceted crisis are rooted in the serious and repeated failure to respect the principles of democracy, good governance and the fight against poverty. Before this crisis, all of Mali's political forces and civil society had persistently denounced the lack of integrity and transparency in the electoral process and the blatant corruption, including in the management of funds intended to equip the Malian army. Many actors in Mali's social and political life mobilized to demand the departure of the representatives of a failed state and its supporters, against a backdrop of terrorist attacks that are causing and continue to cause damage in Mali and the Sahel:

  • Thousands of deaths and injuries,
  • The destruction of property, as well as the means of production and survival of the population,
  • Massive displacement as a result of this insecurity,
  • And particularly in Mali, the disintegration of the State which has abandoned in certain regions, its regalian missions of defense and internal and external security, police, justice as well as the provision of basic services such as education or health.

Yet these principles are defended by both the ECOWAS Additional Protocol A/SP1/12/01 and the African Union Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. In their conflict prevention mission, the signatories of the 2001 ECOWAS Additional Protocol state in the preamble to the protocol that they are "equally concerned about conflicts that are increasingly generated by religious intolerance, political marginalization and non-transparency of the electoral process."

As for the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance of the African Union, which was adopted in 2007 and came into force in 2012, the signatories also reaffirm in its preamble "their collective will to work tirelessly for the deepening and consolidation of democracy, the rule of law, peace, security and development in our countries" and, "determined to promote the universal values and principles of democracy, good governance, human rights and the right to development", declare that they are "anxious to entrench in the continent a culture of political alternation based on the regular holding of transparent, free and fair elections, conducted by national, independent, competent and impartial electoral bodies".

Tournons La Page (TLP) is therefore surprised that the sanctions announced following the ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on Mali held in Accra on January 9, 2022 refer to the 2001 Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance. However, the institution has never ensured its application, either in Mali or in a sub-region undermined by constitutional, electoral and military coups that have accelerated since 2005, in a complicit silence, or even with active support in some cases.

TLP fears that the sanctions decided by the Conference of Heads of State and Government will further burden the Malian people, who are already suffering from poverty, the consequences of endemic corruption in the state apparatus and terrorist violence. These sanctions are illegal, firstly in light of Article 77 of the 1993 revised ECOWAS treaty defining "Sanctions applicable in the event of non-compliance with obligations"[1] and secondly in light of the BCEAO statutes, which specify in Article 4 on operating principles[2] that it does not receive instructions from any authority, which is the basis of its independence from any political power.

Since its creation in 2014, Tournons La Page (TLP) has been fighting against the accession to power by a coup d'état, whether by arms or by all forms of violations of the law and the Constitutions. TPL cannot therefore, regardless of the local context, accommodate a transition that marginalizes the nation's living forces and drags on for the sake of regaining the security and integrity of the national territory.

Attached to the promotion and defense of a true democracy that is not just a facade, and aware of the solidarity of interest and destiny between Mali and the other countries of the West African sub-region, Tournons La Page (TLP), calls on ECOWAS, the African Union and the international community to :

  • Lift the illegal and illegitimate sanctions imposed on the Malian people;
  • Encourage the rapid launch of a reliable and effective republican transition to restore constitutional order in Mali, while protecting its most vulnerable populations;
  • Support a more efficient process for the establishment and consolidation of a democracy in which the Malian people recognize themselves and their legitimate aspirations;
  • Ensure serious and credible implementation of the provisions of the Additional Protocol relating to the transparency and reliability of elections.




President of Tournons La Page


Tél : +241 66 26 06 17 – Twitter : @onamarc


Laurent DUARTE

Executive Secretary of Tournons La Page


Tél : +33 6 38 83 13 31 – Twitter : @LaurentDuarte


Composed of more than 200 African and European civil society organizations, Tournons La Page (TLP) is a citizens' movement that advocates for democratic change and good governance.


[1] https://www.ecowas.int/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Traite-Revise.pdf , article 77 pages 43-44

[2] https://www.bceao.int/sites/default/files/inline-files/StatutsBCEAO2010_0.pdf , page 3