Military takeover in sub-region: West Africa in danger – ECOWAS

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Chair of the ECOWAS Authority, says the resurgence of military takeover in West Africa has the potential to devastate the whole region if not addressed immediately.

“The resurgence of coup d’Etats in the region is a matter of grave concern. This evolution challenges the democratic way of life we have chosen and we need to stand firm to protect democracy and freedom in the region.

“Let’s address this dangerous trend collectively and decisively before it devastates the whole region,” President Akufo-Addo said.

The President made this observation when he addressed the Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority on the political situation in Burkina Faso in Accra yesterday.

In less than two years, the West African sub-region has witnessed military takeover in Mali, Guinea, and recently, Burkina Faso, and an abortive coup in Guinea Bissau.

The heads of state have met on several occasions in Accra over the past year to discuss military coup among other security matters in the region. 

Interestingly, after every two to three meetings, the number of leaders who attended such meetings was reduced by one due to military takeover. As a result, ECOWAS membership has now reduced from 15 to 12.

The heads of state have applied a number of sanctions against the three countries for breaching the ECOWAS protocols on governance, and are in talks with the military leaders on plans to return those countries to constitutional rule.

The military leaders in Mali and Guinea are still dragging their feet to return their countries to constitutional rule. The regional bloc is yet to consider military intervention similar to what happened in The Gambia in 2017.

After hours of closed-doors deliberations on the political situation in the three suspended nations by the ECOWAS Authority yesterday, no new sanctions were introduced

However, the leaders are demanding the immediate and unconditional release of the former President of Burkina Faso, Christian Kabore, who was forced to resign as President by the military junta.

They have asked the military leaders to come out with a roadmap to restore democratic rule in Burkina Faso.

The ECOWAS Authority has also asked the military leaders in Guinea and Mali to also take immediate steps to return the two countries to constitutional rule.

BY YAW KYEI

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