Military regimes in West Africa experiencing worsening insecurities - ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace & Security
The ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace & Security, Ambassador Dr Abdel-Fatau Musah, has stated that the regional bloc will continue to make a case for democratic transition, no matter the challenges, because countries that had experienced coups, with the exception of Guinea, have seen rapid security deterioration.
He said that terrorists were overrunning these countries under the military whose primary responsibility was to protect the territorial integrity of the states but have decided to venture into the realm of governance culminating in divided attention while their countries were being overrun by terrorists.
Dr Musah stated this when ECOWAS deployed 80 Short-Term Election Observers (STOs) for the October 10 elections in Liberia.
Dr Musah said that the recent military juntas had formed an association of coup plotters in the region to apparently defend themselves against ECOWAS and wondered how countries including Burkina Faso could mobilise and deploy troops to Niger when their backyard was on fire.
He said that these countries were engaging in such ventures at a time when the military that overthrew the democratically elected government was overseeing the rapid deterioration of security in their countries.
He indicated that almost 60 per cent of Burkina Faso was under terrorist control and that these terrorists from the area were encroaching on the coastal countries like Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
Head of Mission
The entire ECOWAS Observer Mission for the 2023 Liberia Elections is headed by Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega, a former Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The ECOWAS observer mission, Dr Musah explained, was made up of respected representatives of various ECOWAS member states “who are coming here not to look at what the problems are in Liberia but to show concrete solidarity by supporting them. We have done that financially and through other means. This is the culmination of it”.
Prof Jega said ECOWAS was in Liberia to ensure that the polls were conducted with integrity to offer Liberians the opportunity to make the best choices with the objective of ensuring that the two-decade-old peace was sustained and consolidated.
He urged the observers to be guided by the international standards and guidelines, especially the ECOWAS protocol and guidelines, keep their eyes wide open, listen carefully, take notes of what they observe and feed it to the secretariat.
Liberia goes to polls on October 10 to elect a president for a 6-year term, 30 members of the Senate and 73 members of the House of Representatives. President George Wear who seeking re-election is being challenged by 19 other presidential candidates. This is the fourth successive election after the brutal civil war in Liberia.