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ECOWAS orders transition timetables from military authorities in 3 countries

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 ECOWAS orders transition timetables from military authorities in 3 countries

 

The Authority of the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has requested timetables towards transition to democracy in Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau and Mali, countries where military authorities have forcefully removed democratic governments from power.

However, the Authority reaffirms its commitment to strengthening democracy, freedom and good governance in the region and instructs the ECOWAS Commission to expedite the review of the 2001 Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and the related legal instruments.

These were some of the outcomes of the Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, held in Accra, Ghana on Thursday, to examine the recent political developments in Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali, with a view to ensuring the restoration of constitutional order in these countries.

In a communiqué issued on Thursday, indicated that the Summit which was chaired by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority, also had in attendance other ECOWAS Heads of State and Government or their duly mandated representatives, with Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, representing President Muhammad Buhari of Nigeria.

READ ALSO:Coup: ECOWAS suspends Burkina Faso

The Summit was also attended by Jean-Claude Kassi BROU, President of the ECOWAS Commission; Mr. Mahamat Saleh ANNADIF, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS); Mr. El Ghassim Wane, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Mali and Head of MINUSMA and Dr. Paul Koffi KOFFI, Commissioner, representing the President of the UEMOA Commission.

According to the communiqué, “The Heads of State and Government considered the report of the Mission of the Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CCDS) presented by Major General Thomas Oppong PEPRAH, Chief of Army Staff of Ghana, representing the Chief of Defence Staff of Ghana, and the report of the joint ECOWAS-UNOWAS Ministerial Mission presented by the Chair of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, H.E. Shirley Ayorkor BOTCHWEY. The two Missions were deployed to Burkina Faso on 29th and 31st January 2022 respectively to assess the political and security situation in Burkina Faso after the coup d’Etat”.

“They also considered the Memoranda on the political situations in Mali and Guinea presented by H.E. Jean-Claude Kassi BROU, President of the ECOWAS Commission. The Authority commended the quality of the reports and memoranda and took note of the recommendations contained therein.

“The Authority was briefed by H.E. Suzi Carla BARBOSA, Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and the Diaspora of Guinea Bissau on the circumstances surrounding the attempted coup d’Etat in Guinea Bissau on 1st February 2022. The Authority firmly condemned the attempted coup d’Etat in Guinea Bissau and expressed solidarity with President Umaro Sissoco EMBALO and the people of Guinea Bissau. In view of these recent developments, the Authority decides to deploy a force with a view to supporting the stabilization of the country”

“The Authority further decides to maintain the military and police components of the ECOWAS Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG) to consolidate stability in the country”.

“The Authority affirms its commitment to stand firm for the protection of democracy and freedom in the region and reiterates its resolute stance to upholding the principle of zero tolerance for ascension to power through unconstitutional means, as enshrined in the 2001 ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good governance”.

On the political situation in Burkina Faso, “The Authority took note of the deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in the country. This calls for a quick return to constitutional order to deal effectively with these issues”.

Furthermore, it reiterates its absolute condemnation of the coup d’Etat of 24 January 2022 and expresses concern over the continuous detention of President Roch Marc Christian KABORE. “In this regard, and subject to sanctions, the Authority demands the unconditional release of President Roch Marc Christian Kabore” and “upholds the suspension of Burkina Faso from all ECOWAS Institutions until the restoration of constitutional order”.

ECOWAS also “calls on the military authorities to establish the Transition institutions, adopt a transition calendar and facilitate the return to constitutional order within the shortest time”.

With regard to the political situation in the Republic of Guinea, “The Authority takes note of the recent establishment of the National Transition Council (CNT), as the legislative body”.

“However, the Authority expresses concern over the unavailability of the required transition calendar five months after the coup d’Etat, as requested by the Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Government held on 16th September 2021”.

While upholding the sanctions already imposed on Guinea, it requests the Transition Authority to provide to ECOWAS an acceptable timetable for restoring constitutional order and reaffirms its readiness to accompany Guinea towards the return to constitutional order within the shortest time.

On the political situation in the Republic of Mali, “The Authority welcomes the conclusions of the 1057th meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union held on 14th January 2022 endorsing all the ECOWAS decisions and sanctions on Mali”.

It “regrets the unavailability of a new timetable in line with the decisions of the Authority” and consequently decides to “uphold all the sanctions imposed on Mali in line with its decision of 9 January 2022”, and urges the Malian authorities to urgently propose an acceptable electoral timetable to ECOWAS with a view to enabling the progressive lifting of the sanctions.

Moreover, “The Authority raises concern over the breach of constitutional order in the region notably with the recent military coup d’Etat and attempted coup d’état in some Member States”.

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