The European Union says it has imposed travel bans and asset freezes on five Malian officials, including senior military commanders who carried out last year’s coup – who are part of junta leader Assimi Goïta’s inner circle.
The announcement was made after the military reneged on a promise to hold elections this month, delaying them instead by four years.
The five are:
- Choguel Kokalla Maïga, the transitional prime minister
- Col Malick Diaw, president of the transitional council
- Col Ismaël Wagué, reconciliation minister – and the man who announced the August 2020 coup
- Adama Ben Diarra, also known as “Ben le Cerveau” meaning “Ben the Brain” – a vocal supporter of Russia’s support to Mali
- Ibrahim Ikassa Maïga, a civilian member of the transitional government.
Relations between the EU and Mali have plummeted, partly because of the country’s second coup since 2020 and Mali’s decision to employ a Russian security contractors.
European countries including France are considering withdrawing troops serving in a unit which fights Islamist militants.
Last month, the regional bloc Ecowas imposed sanctions on Mali, which include the freezing of the country’s assets in member nations’ commercial banks and the suspension of non-essential financial transactions.