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EU imposes sanctions on five Mali officials including Prime Minister Choguel Maïga

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By AP
Mali's transitional Prime Minister Choguel Maiga addresses the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly
Mali's transitional Prime Minister Choguel Maiga addresses the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly   -   Copyright  Kena Betancur/Pool Photo via AP

The European Union has imposed new sanctions on five senior members of Mali’s transitional government, including Prime Minister Choguel Maiga.

The bloc has accused the officials of trying to obstruct and undermine the transition from the military junta to civilian rule.

Other members of Mali's inner circle were hit by the EU’s asset freezes and travel bans on Friday.

These include Col. Assimi Goita, who put himself in charge last year after two military coups and dismissed the civilian leaders of Mali’s transitional government.

International tensions then further escalated further when Goita postponed the next presidential vote by four years until 2026. The West African regional group ECOWAS had already imposed tough economic sanctions in response.

In December, the EU also slapped sanctions on eight people and three oil companies linked to the Wagner Group of Russian mercenaries, which is accused of rights abuses in the Central African Republic, Libya and Syria.

Mali has struggled to contain an extremist insurgency since 2012. Rebels were forced from power in northern cities with the help of a French-led military operation, but they regrouped in the desert.

The EU has also been training the Mali armed forces and plans to continue to do so for now despite the severe instability and political upheaval, including the recent expulsion of France’s ambassador from the country.