The United States commends the strong actions taken by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in defense of democracy and stability in Mali following its Extraordinary Summit on January 9, 2022.
We share ECOWAS’s deep disappointment with the transition government of Mali’s lack of action or progress toward organizing elections, as it committed to do following the August 2020 coup d’état. We support ECOWAS’s decision to impose additional economic and financial sanctions to urge the transition government to keep its pledge to the Malian people to return their country to democracy.
We also echo ECOWAS’s concern over the likely destabilizing impact of Russia-backed Wagner group forces in Mali. As noted in the Department’s statement of December 15, 2021, these forces will not bring peace to Mali and will divert resources away from the Malian Armed Forces’ fight against terrorism.