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ECOWAS Region Has Become Toxic, Coups Must End –Akuffo-Addo Worried

Ghanaian leader Akufo-Addo has bemoaned recent military takeovers in three West African states – Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso – stating that coup d’états, ongoing jihadists’ activities, and the COVID-19 pandemic have made the region a toxic one.

In his opening address during an emergency virtual summit of heads of state and governments of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) held today (28 January), Akufo-Addo said the ECOWAS supplementary protocol on democracy and good governance adopted in 2001, is being breached by military takeovers in the region.

Good governance protocol
Quoting four provisions of the ECOWAS supplementary protocol on democracy and good governance, President Akufo-Addo said the protocol provides that first “any ascension to power must be through free, fair and transparent election”.

Second, “unconstitutional change is prohibited as well as any undemocratic method of gaining or retaining power”.

Third, “zero tolerance for power obtained or maintained by unconstitutional means”

Lastly, “the Armed Forces must be apolitical and must be under the command of legally constituted authority. No serving member of the Armed Forces may seek to run for elected political office”.

“The happenings in the region tell us that not everybody has accepted democracy as the preferred mode of governance. We still have some work to do to convince such people that we are all safer under democracies,” Akufo-Addo said.

“The resurgence of coup d’etat in our region is in direct violation of our democratic tenets and represents a threat to peace, security, and stability in West Africa,” he added.

ECOWAS instability
In the last year and a half, there have been four coup d’états in the ECOWAS sub-region alone. On 18 August 2020, the first military takeover occurred in Mali where the second also occurred on the 24th of May 2021.

The third unconstitutional takeover of power took place on 5 September 2021, in Guinea and the latest power seizure took place on 24 January 2022, in Burkina Faso.

Demands/sanctions
ECOWAS heads of state have in each of the previous coup d’états with the exception of the recent one in Burkina Faso, instituted sanctions against the military leaders in Mali and Guinea and demanded that the military junta in the two countries take immediate steps to restore the democratic rule in the affected nations.

Source: Asaase Radio

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