Parliament was ransacked and set ablaze

ECOWAS concerned about events in Burkina Faso

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has followed with grave attention the events unfolding in Burkina Faso and the tension surrounding the process leading to the consideration of a draft bill on constitutional amendment.


A statement issued by the ECOWAS Chairman, President John Dramani Mahama, in Oslo, Norway, yesterday said the sub-regional body had taken note of the decision by the Burkinabe government to withdraw the passing of the draft bill.

President Mahama is on a four-day official visit to Norway.

The statement said ECOWAS believed that the decision was geared towards preserving the stability and peace of that country. 

To that end, the sub-regional body reiterated the need for compliance with the principles of democracy and constitutional governance, as stipulated in the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.

The ECOWAS called on all the people to remain calm and law abiding, and the security forces to respect and act in accordance with the constitution of Burkina Faso.

 It also called on all parties involved, notably the entire political class, to embrace dialogue with a view to arriving at a political consensus that would lead to free, fair and credible elections consistent with constitutional provisions.

“ECOWAS, in line with its principle, will not recognise any ascension to power through non-constitutional means,” the statement said.

A number of protesters yesterday hit the streets in Ouagadougou and set fire to the Burkinabe Parliament in protest against plans to allow Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year-rule. 

They also set fire to the headquarters of the ruling party.

Following the violence. the members of Parliament suspended a vote on changing the constitution to allow Mr Blaise Compaore to stand for re-election next year.

Five people are said to have been killed so far.

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