Willingness to work towards a return to constitutional order is shown by the military junta that overthrew the government in Burkina Faso last week, leaders of West Africa’s regional bloc said on Thursday after an emergency summit meeting on coups in the region.
The President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) commission Jean Claude Kassi Brou asked the junta to rapidly put forward an election timetable.
Addressing a news conference, Jean Claude stated there was no need to impose more sanctions against the military that ousted Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Kabore.
“We have engaged them. And they have shown interest that they want to work with ECOWAS towards the restoration of constitutional order,” Brou said.
“Since they have shown the ability to work with ECOWAS, we can’t just impose the maximum sanctions,” he added.
The heads of state who met in Accra, Ghana’s capital lamented that another junta in neighbouring Mali has yet to present an acceptable path to return to constitutional order, which could leading to easing of sanctions.
TOS News reported that Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo and chairman of ECOWAS at the start of the summit said the coup in Mali was “contagious” and had set a dangerous trend that led to subsequent coups in West Africa.
“Let us address this dangerous trend collectively and decisively before it devastates the entire region,” Akufo-Addo said.
Mali’s has had two coups; the first in August 2020 and the second in May last year. Guinea’s coup followed in September, Burkina Faso’s last week and a failed coup in Guinea-Bissau on Tuesday.
Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso memberships in the 15-nation bloc was suspended. Sanctions were also imposed on Mali and Guinea, hitting Mali particularly hard last month after its junta failed to organise elections and proposed holding power until 2025.
The financial freeze on Mali caused it to default on more than $31 million of bond payments, it said on Wednesday.