Foreign sanctions aim to revolt the people against their government

AA / Bamako / Bilal Dinc, Ümit Donmez

Malian businessmen continue to express their confidence in the economic development of their country and believe that the sanctions imposed on it by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), aim to revolt Malians against their government.

Questioned by the Anadolu Agency, Lakami Doucouré, boss of a Malian trade-transport company, castigated the “visible or invisible hand that wants to make things worse” in his country.

“In my opinion, the sanctions are really serious […] illegal, illegitimate,” said the businessman.

“It’s very hard for the people, it’s very hard for Mali. When we talk about sanctions, we talk about wanting to hurt. This evil, I think Mali is going through it”, underlines Doucouré.

“We cannot but feel this voluntary evil that, perhaps, the heads of state of ECOWAS wanted to impose on our country”, he adds.

The Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, who met Friday in Accra, Ghana, announced the maintenance of successive economic sanctions imposed on Mali since the new Executive came to power, following a coup d State led in 2020 by Colonel Assimi Goïta, President of the Malian Transition.

Asked about the repercussions of these sanctions on his business, Doucouré pointed out that “all sectors of life” are affected “on a daily basis”.

“It’s not just about traders, because in life, everything is linked: hoteliers, traders, farmers… And we need each other too. Somewhere, it’s like in the whole of a body. If it hurts somewhere, it will feel for the other sides, too”, notes the businessman.

“Now, the trader being the one who brings in the needs of the country from outside, when the neighboring country closes, naturally, the trader is one of the first actors who feels that, but I think that psychologically and morally, there is many, many still traders who were prepared for it,” he observes.

“We want it to be as short as possible, but that’s it, it hurts,” he notes, however.

Lakami Doucouré then evokes the difficulties experienced by Mali and recalls that “the country is going through a very difficult moment, a historic moment”.

“So all layers of society will have to join hands to support our authorities in order to get through these difficult times that we think are really temporary,” adds the businessman, invoking national solidarity.

“Let’s hope that, very soon, we can understand each other with our friends, and from ECOWAS, and everywhere, so that life continues even more beautifully,” he notes.

Asked about inflation and its effects, Doucouré “thinks there’s a bit of hype behind that as well. […] Perhaps a visible or invisible hand that wants to make things worse, that wants to make people revolt” because of the lack of certain foodstuffs or the increase in their prices.

“I think that there is a bit of manipulation behind this story, which, moreover, our authorities have understood”, continues the businessman, recalling that the Malian government is taking “measures to possibly sanction those who are spreading this bad news [à des fins spéculatives, NDLR] and also control the prices of foodstuffs or other things on which the State is making efforts so that the Malian population can have them at prices that remain reasonable”, he indicates.

Asked about the possible authors of these sanctions which he perceives as a “manipulation”, the businessman potentially evokes France, in the same way as ECOWAS, even if, he recognizes, “there is no tangible evidence”.

“But what I know, all the same, is that what was expected of France, France did not have this role. This is the disappointment of the Malian population,” he said, referring to the fight against terrorism and Operation Barkhane, in place in Mali since 2014 and whose end of its presence in this country was announced, at the beginning of the year, by the French authorities.

The Malian Prime Minister participated this weekend, in Qatar, in the Business Forum in Africa, as part of the Doha Forum 2022.

Choguel Maïga reported a “gradual” improvement for his country.

“The part where 80% of the country’s economy is concentrated is today freed” from terrorism, indicated the head of the Malian government, calling on foreign investors to take advantage of the advantageous business conditions of his country, to through the Investment Code.

“There you have gold mines, gas reserves, the two largest rivers in West Africa, more than 3 million hectares of potentially developable land. Malian cattle are the second largest in West Africa after Nigeria, and the energy deficit are elements that may interest investors”, recalled the Malian Prime Minister.

Only part of the dispatches, which Anadolu Agency broadcasts to its subscribers via the Internal Broadcasting System (HAS), is broadcast on the AA website, in a summarized manner. Please contact us to subscribe.

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