The Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has suspended Burkina Faso from all ECOWAS institutions and demanded the immediate release and protection of the former President of Burkina Faso, President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, and all the other political detainees.
It also demanded the immediate restoration of constitutional order by the military and urged them to remain republican by focusing on the role of safeguarding the territorial integrity of that country.
The directives were contained in a communique released to the media after an extraordinary virtual summit of the ECOWAS authority of heads of state and government on the political situation in Burkina Faso last Friday (January 28, 2022).
The extraordinary session was convened by the Chairman of the Authority and President of Ghana, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to review the political developments in Burkina Faso in the wake of the coup d'état that toppled the democratically elected government of Mr Kabore on January 24, 2022.
Present at the conference were the President of Benin, Mr Patrice Talon; the President of Cape Verde, Mr Jose Maria Neves; the President of Cote d’Ivoire, Mr Alassane Ouattara; the President of The Gambia, Mr Adama Barrow, and the President of Guinea Bissau, Mr Umaro Sissoco Embalo.
The other heads of state were the President of Liberia, Mr George Manneh Weah; the President of Nigeria, Mr Muhammadu Buhari; the President of Niger, Mr Mohamed Bazoum; the President of Sierra Leone, Mr Julius Maada Bio; the President of Togo, Mr Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, and the Minister of Armed Forces of the Republic of Senegal, Mr Sidiki Kaba.
Also in attendance were the Chairman of the African Union (AU) Commission, Mr Moussa Faki; the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou; the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mr Mahamat Saleh Annadif, and the President of West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Mr Abdoulaye Diop.
The heads of state, according to the communique, strongly condemned the coup d’ tat in Burkina Faso and expressed deep concern over the resurgence of military coups in the region following the coup d’ tat in Mali on August 18, 2020, Guinea on September 5, 2021 and that of Burkina Faso on January 24, 2022.
It said the ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments took note of the memorandum on the political situation in Burkina Faso, which was presented by the President of the African Union (AU) Commission, Mr Moussa Faki, and the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, and observed that the coup d’ tat in Burkina Faso was achieved by obtaining the resignation of President Roch Marc Christian Kabore under duress.
The heads of state reaffirmed their resolute commitment to upholding the zero tolerance for acceding power through unconstitutional means as enshrined in the 2001 ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and instructed the Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CCDS) to forthwith deploy a delegation to Burkina Faso to hold consultations with the military leaders to carry out an assessment of the security situation in the country and submit a report to be reviewed by the authority of Heads of State and Government.
The authority further instructed the commission “to facilitate the deployment of a joint ECOWAS ministerial mission to Burkina Faso, led by the Chairperson of Council of Ministers on January 31, 2022 to assess the political situation and submit their report to the authority of heads of state and government. The United Nations Special Representative to West Africa and Sahel and the African Union will participate in this mission,” it stated and further requested the commission to finalise the ongoing revision of the protocol on democracy and good governance.