Coup d’Etat On the Increase: ECOWAS Raises Concern Over Breach of Constitutional Order in The Region

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By: Christian Conteh

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has raised 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 including Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali.

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This concern prompted an Extraordinary Summit by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS in Accra, Ghana on 3rd February 2022, under the chairmanship of H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority.

The Extraordinary Summit was convened to examine the recent political developments in Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali to ensure the restoration of constitutional order in these countries.

Benin’s Patrice Talon, Cote d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara, Gambia’s Adama Barrow, Senegal’s Macky Sall and Sierra Leone’s Julius Maada Bio were among the Presidents who attended the meeting. The Authority decided 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,” it said in its statement.

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IN GUINEA BISSAU -The Authority firmly condemned the attempted coup d’Etat and expressed solidarity with President Umaro Sissoco EMBALO and the people of Guinea Bissau. In view of these recent developments, the Authority decided to deploy a force to support the stabilization of the country.

BURKINA FASO -ECOWAS upholds the suspension of Burkina Faso from all ECOWAS Institutions until the restoration of constitutional order. It further 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.

GUINEA– ECOWAS upholds all the sanctions already imposed on Guinea whilst requesting the transition authority to provide ECOWAS with an acceptable timetable for restoring constitutional order.

MALI- ECOWAS upholds 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 to enable the progressive lifting of the sanctions.

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Furthermore, the regional body (ECOWAS) reaffirms 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.
ECOWAS ended its statement at the meeting by reaffirming its commitment to strengthening democracy, freedom and good governance in the region.


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