ECOWAS Suspends Burkina Faso Over Coup
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has suspended Burkina Faso following a coup that ousted its President, Mr Roch Marc Christian Kabore, from office a few days ago.
The bloc, however, noted that it will not impose other sanctions for the time being.
ECOWAS is also calling on the new junta to release ousted President Kabore and other officials detained during Monday’s coup, the source said.
The bloc will hold another summit in Accra on February 3, it added.
The summit, which lasted around three hours on Friday, also decided to send a mission of ECOWAS chiefs of staff to Ouagadougou, the Burkinabe capital, on Saturday.
This will be followed on Monday by ministerial-level envoys from the bloc.
Mr Kabore, 64, was elected in 2015 following a popular revolt that forced out strongman Blaise Compaore, who had run the West African country for more than 30 years.
He was re-elected in 2020, but the following year faced a wave of anger over the mounting toll from a jihadist insurgency that swept in from neighbouring Mali.
On Sunday (January 23), mutinies broke out in several barracks and the following day, Mr Kabore was arrested and taken away by troops.
The impoverished Sahel state is being run by a junta led by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who commands military units in the country’s jihadist-torn east.
On the eve of the summit, Lt. Col. Damiba made a televised appeal for “the international community to support our country so it can exit this crisis as soon as possible.”
He promised that Burkina Faso would “return to a normal constitutional life… when the conditions are right.”
Burkina Faso joins two other ECOWAS countries — Mali and Guinea — where there have been coups in the past 18 months.
Those two countries have been suspended by the regional bloc, which has also imposed an array of sanctions on them, including measures against individuals.