The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) suspended Burkina Faso in response to Monday‘s coup that ousted democratically elected President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.
The decision was made during an extraordinary virtual summit of heads of state of the bloc, held on Friday, January 28, 2022.
West African leaders demanded the immediate release and protection of President Kabore and all political detainees.
Burkina Faso was suspended from all the bloc’s institutions, demanding the immediate restoration of constitutional order.
ECOWAS leaders urged the army to focus on the role of safeguarding the country’s territorial integrity.
The West African regional bloc, in a statement after the summit, strongly condemned the coup, expressing deep concern over the resurgence of military coups in the region, following the coup in Mali, Guinea and now Burkina Faso.
However, sanctions against Burkina Faso were not immediately announced, but the heads of state decided to send investigative teams to Ouagadougou for consultations.
The statement also said that a delegation from the Committee of Chiefs of Defense Staff (CCDS) will be deployed to Burkina Faso to consult with the junta’s leadership, conduct an assessment of the security situation in the country and present a report to be reviewed by heads of state.
The ECOWAS Commission will also facilitate the deployment of a joint ECOWAS Ministerial Mission to the country on January 31 to assess the political situation and present its report to heads of state.
Another extraordinary summit will be convened on February 3, 2022 in Accra, Ghana, to re-examine the situation in the three countries under military rule in the region.
Ten heads of state attended the ECOWAS summit chaired by the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is the ECOWAS President. They include President Julius Maada Bio and George Weah of Liberia.
Also in attendance were ECOWAS Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou and his counterpart from the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat. The UN Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, also attended.
Kabore’s ouster followed days of anti-government protests over his government’s perceived inability to address the insecurities plaguing the Sahelian nation.
The Patriotic Movement for Safeguarding and Restoration (MPSR), which is in charge of the country, has not provided any detailed plan of a transition.
The new leader of the junta, Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Damiba, made his first public appearance since taking office on Thursday, in an address to the nation in which he defended his action.
He blamed it on the former president’s inability to secure the country.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
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