Mali’s ruling junta said it “strongly” condemned “illegal” sanctions imposed on the country by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
In a statement read on national television Monday, the military regime’s spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga announced the recall of Bamako’s ambassadors to the West African nations involved and the closure of air and land borders with them.
ECOWAS and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) on Sunday imposed a range of economic and diplomatic measures against Mali, including border closures and a trade embargo, saying the junta’s intention to remain in power for several more years was “totally unacceptable”.
The meeting in Ghana of regional leaders followed months of increasing tensions over the timetable for restoring civilian rule in Mali after two coups and a military takeover.
“The government of Mali strongly condemns these illegal and illegitimate sanctions,” said the junta’s statement.