The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has given the military junta in Guinea six months to restore constitutional rule to the country.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of yesterday’s extraordinary summit of Heads of States and Governments of the ECOWAS in Accra.
Chaired by President Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo, the summit also imposed sanctions on the junta leader, Colonel, MamadyDoumbouya, and all members of the National Rally and Development Committee (CNRD) who seized power on September 5, 2021.
A travel ban has also been imposed on the coup plotters as well as their family members and supporters, with the financial assets of members of the junta frozen.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude KissieBrou, told the media after the summit that the decisions of the ECOWAS Authority would be communicated officially to the military rulers today.
He said ECOWAS was concerned with the seeming political instability in the region and had decided to revisit its protocols on democracy and good governance to address current situations.
On why the Commission failed to intervene when the political issues began in Guinea, the President of the Commission noted that ECOWAS took steps before, during and after the crises.
He added that there were several stakeholder engagements which involved the political parties in Guinea when the issues began.
He stated further that at the peak of the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the commission held virtual meetings with the stakeholders involved, seeking to ensure that the situation did not escalate.
He pointed out, however, that the ECOWAS was made up of sovereign countries which had the right to make their own decisions.
Present at the summit were the Presidents of Togo, Faure GnassingbéEyadéma, Cote d’Ivoire’sAlassaneOuattara, Senegal’sMackySall, and Burkina Faso’sRoch Marc Christian Kaboré.
The rest were the presidents of Liberia, George Weah, Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, Guinea Bissau,UmaroSissocoEmbaló and Niger, Mohamed Bazoum.
Nigeria was represented by its Vice President, YemiOsinbajo.
The leaders also discussed the political disturbances in Mali.
Earlier discussed at the summit was a report of a high-level ECOWAS mission sent to Guinea last week following the overthrow of President Alpha Conde by armed military personnel.
The mission, led by Foreign Minister Shirley AyorkorBotchway, met the military rulers in Guinea.
Opening the meeting, President Akufo-Addo, chair of the ECOWAS Authority, urged the leaders to take bold decisions to restore peace and democracy in the region.
“We are required to take informed decisions on these matters that will have a long-time consequences on the security and the defence of democratic values of our region.
“I count on you to help proffer durable solutions to the crisis. I am confident, as in the past, that we will rise to the occasion,” he said.
ECOWAS has suspended Guinea’s membership following the coup, and asked the military junta to return the country to constitutional order and release President Conde.
The soldiers seized power, suspended the country’s constitution and announced on September 5that they had arrested 83-year old President Conde
BY YAW KYEI