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Yao Adu, Aleksandr Mezyaev

The Conflict Between ECOWAS and Mali:  International Legal and Political Aspects

2023. Vol. 18. No. 1. P. 170–189 [issue contents]

In recent decades, Mali has faced an unprecedented political and economic crisis due to coups, terrorist and separatist threats, and international sanctions. The role of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as a subregional organization involved in the management of the Malian conflict is paramount. However, the influence of France in decision-making in the context of sanctions imposed on Mali by ECOWAS affected the authority of the West African organization. The role of France as a former colonial power in this crisis is indisputable in the context of its geopolitical engagement with its former colonies in Africa and particularly in West Africa.

This article analyzes the course of the crisis, the role of the actors involved (ECOWAS, Mali, and France), and the political and legal scopes of the crisis. On the basis of structural, qualitative, and quantitative methods of assessment and comparative analyses of the ECOWAS Authority’s decisions, their legal and political meanings, the political situation on the ground, the history of conflict management in neighbouring countries such as Cote d’Ivoire and other West African states by ECOWAS, the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN), and the role of France in the crisis, the authors conclude that the ECOWAS Authority has played an important role in restoring political order in Mali. However, the authors note the failure of the Authority to reach a political agreement. Moreover, the authors agree that the ECOWAS Authority has reacted ultra vires to the Malian crisis vis-a-vis the power that is conferred by the ECOWAS instruments. And, the Authority’s blunder was not without French interference.

This article was submitted 02.11.2022

Citation: Adu Y.N., Mezyaev A. (2023) The Conflict Between ECOWAS and Mali:  International Legal and Political Aspects. International Organisations Research Journal , vol. 18, no 1, P. (in English)
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