ECOWAS Moves to Stabilize Region Amid Rise in Coups

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has decided to move in force to stabilize countries under threat of military takeover following a shocking rise in coups in some member states.

The regional bloc reached this agreement after an Extraordinary Summit in Accra, Ghana on Thursday chaired by Ghana’s President and Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority, Mr Nana Akufo-Addo.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Akufo-Addo firmly condemned the attempted coup d’etat in Guinea Bissau and expressed solidarity with President Umaro Sissoco Embalo and the people of Guinea Bissau.

He explained that the bloc is deciding to deploy a force with a view to supporting the stabilization of the country.

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

ECOWAS, in a communique after the Accra meeting, decided to uphold the suspension of Burkina Faso from all ECOWAS institutions until the restoration of constitutional order.

The bloc called on the military authorities to establish the transition institutions, adopt a transition calendar, and facilitate the return within the shortest time possible.

The Authority instructed the Commission to ensure continuous engagement with the new authorities through the establishment of a monitoring mechanism, including the African Union (UN) and the United Nations (UN), with a view to accompanying the transition process.

On the political situation in the Republic of Guinea, the Authority took note of the recent establishment of the National Transition Council (CNT), as the legislative body.

It, however, expressed 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.

Due to this lag, the Authority decided to take some actions including upholding all the sanctions already imposed on Guinea and requesting the Transition Authority to provide ECOWAS with an acceptable timetable for restoring constitutional order.

Despite this, it reaffirmed its readiness to accompany Guinea towards the return to constitutional order within the shortest time.

On the political situation in Mali, the Authority regretted the unavailability of a new timetable in line with the decisions of the Authority and consequently decided to uphold all the sanctions imposed on the country in line with its decision of January 9, 2022.

It urged the Malian authorities to propose an acceptable electoral timetable to ECOWAS with a view to enabling the progressive lifting of the sanctions.

ECOWAS also reaffirmed its readiness to work in conjunction with the African Union and the United Nations to provide the necessary technical support to the authorities in Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali in implementing the approved timetables.

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