Coups: ECOWAS Demand Unconditional Release of President Roch Marc Kabore

…Maintains Sanctions

By Edward Adamidenyo, Regional Editor

The Authority of Heads of State of the Economic Community of West Africa States, ECOWAS, has demanded the unconditional release of President Roch Marc Christian KABORE of Burkina Faso held after a military putsch by the country’s military.

The heads of government of ECOWAS made the call in a communique issued at the end of its extraordinary summit to address the political situations in Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali to ensure the restoration of constitutional order in these countries.

The communique said “The Authority 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.”

The bloc decided to uphold the suspension of Burkina Faso from all ECOWAS Institutions
until the restoration of constitutional order, called on the military authorities to establish the transition institutions and adopt a transition calendar and facilitate the return to constitutional order within the shortest time.

Other resolutions are to direct the Commission to ensure continuous engagement with the new authorities through the establishment of a monitoring mechanism, including African Union and the United Nations, to accomplish the process.

Also, the Authority expressed concern over the unavailability of the required transition calendar five months after the coup d’Etat in Guinea, as requested by the extraordinary session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Government held on 16th September 2021.

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Consequently, the Authority decides to: uphold all the sanctions already imposed on Guinea, request the transition authority to provide ECOWAS with an acceptable timetable for restoring constitutional order.

The bloc reaffirmed its readiness to lead Guinea towards a return to constitutional order within the shortest time.

On the political situation in the Republic of Mali, the Authority said it endorsed all the ECOWAS decisions and sanctions on Mali and expressed regret about the unavailability of a new timetable in line with the decisions of the Heads of States.

It, therefore, decided to uphold all the sanctions imposed on Mali in line with its decision of 9 January 2022. It urged the Malian authorities to urgently propose an acceptable electoral timetable to ECOWAS to enable the progressive lifting of the sanctions while it remains seized of the situation in the country.

Other resolutions are as follows: 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 timetable.

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.

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

The Heads of State and Government expressed their deep gratitude to H.E.
Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO, President of the Republic of Ghana and
Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, for his
leadership in ensuring the success of the Summit.

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