Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States, Nana Akufo-Addo, has charged colleague Heads of State to take decisive steps to address the trend of coup d’etats witnessed in the sub-region.
President Akufo-Addo made the clarion call on Thursday during an Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS Heads of State at Kempinski Hotel in Accra.
According to the ECOWAS Chair, swiftly addressing the challenging security situation in the sub-region will preserve democracy and freedom in West Africa.
In his opening remarks, he said: “It is with a heavy heart that I welcome you all back to Accra after our virtual meeting last week. The resurgence of coup d’etat in our region is of grave concern. This evolution challenges the democratic way of life we have chosen. We need to stand firm to protect democracy and freedom in our region.
Let us address this dangerous trend collectively and decisively before it devastates the whole region.”
The Extraordinary Summit held today was focused on the emerging trends in the region that stems from the military interference in Mali and its contagious influence in Guinea and Burkina Faso.
While speaking, President Akufo-Addo also applauded the President of Guinea Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embalo for preventing an overthrow orchestrated by the military.
“Fortunately, the attempt two days ago to overthrow the democratically elected government of Umaro Sissoco Embalo in Guinea Bissau by a military coup failed.
I speak for all of us when I applaud President Embalo for sustaining the validity of the democratic institutions of the Republic of Guinea Bissau.”
He added that: “Your presence here is a strong indication of your willingness to find a sustainable solution to the resurgence of the canker in our region.”
Heavily armed men on Tuesday afternoon surrounded government buildings in the capital Bissau where Embalo and his Prime Minister were believed to be attending a cabinet meeting.
Reports indicate that Guinea-Bissau’s capital appeared calm on Wednesday the day after Embalo survived the attack.
President Akufo-Addo also used the opportunity to commend the African Union (AU) for suspending Burkina Faso and called for international collaboration in halting the political turbulence in Africa.
A surge in military takeover
It would be recalled that Guinea was thrown into political unrest in May 2021.
Before then Mali experienced a coup d’état in August 2020. Col Assimi Goïta, the leader of Mali’s junta, was officially sworn in as the country’s interim President and promised “credible, fair and transparent elections”.
Following these developments, ECOWAS convened a series of meetings to restore political stability in the two nations.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has maintained the existing sanctions it imposed on Mali, over the failure of the transitional authorities to oversee a smooth political transition.
Additional sanctions included: “Withdrawal of all ECOWAS Ambassadors in Mali; Closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Mali; Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Mali, with the exception of the following products: essential consumer goods; pharmaceutical products; medical supplies and equipment, including materials for the control of COVID-19; petroleum products and electricity.
There is also a freeze on assets of the Republic of Mali in ECOWAS Central Banks; Freeze of assets of the Malian State and the State Enterprises and Parastatals in Commercial Banks; Suspension of Mali from all financial assistance and transactions from all financial institutions”, the Communique said.
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