Following the coup d’état that happened in Burkina Faso on 17th September, 2015 which led to the disruption of the transition process in the country, the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met in an extraordinary session in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on 22 September, 2015 chaired by ECOWAS Chairman President Macky Sall of Senegal, and held discussions on ways to restore peace and return power to a civilian President.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, the ECOWAS community strongly condemns the attack carried out by members of the presidential guard (RSP) on 17 September, 2015 and called for an immediate transition of power to civilian rule in the country.
They also called for the unconditional release of all persons detained as a result of the coup, and further reiterated its full support for the continuation of civilian rule by reinstalling immediately Michel Kafando as Transition President before the country would hold its election, of which the Chairman proposed a shift from October 11 to November 21.
The West African Leaders pointed out their effort was to reaffirmed commitment to the principles contained in the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy, Good Governance and the legal instruments of the African Union.
“Summit demands that the RSP lay down their arms and other military forces
refrain from using force, in order to prevent the loss of lives and the immediate end to all acts of violence and other human right violations, particularly restrictions on freedom of movement and expression.
Summit demands that all the defense and security forces uphold the unity of
the army and refrain, under penalty of sanctions, from any action that may lead to a further deterioration of the situation and undermine peace. It also demands them to fully take on, in true republican spirit, their duty of maintaining order and protecting lives and property across the national territory.”
They also posited that, “At this stage where dialogue is crucial for national unity and stability in Burkina Faso, the Heads of State and Government call for peace, open mindedness and a spirit of compromise,” urging all stakeholders to expedite action in creating the necessary conditions for national reconciliation.
“In that respect, Authority invites the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of
State and Government in liaison with the President of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria and the members of the High Committee, to initiate political dialogue
among all stakeholders in order to reach consensus on all matters proposed by the ECOWAS Mediation,” it noted.
The ECOWAS leader further called on the African Union and the International Community not to impose sanctions on Burkina Faso but work hand in hand to provide support and monitoring of the process and also, deploying military and human right observers to monitor respect for human rights in the country; while urging the Burkinabe authorities to establish a compensation fund for the victims and encouraged all partners of Burkina Faso and ECOWAS to make contributions to the fund.
The body also commended the purposeful mediation efforts deployed by ECOWAS Chairman, Macky Sall and ECOWAS-appointed Facilitator, Thomas Boni Yayi for their effort to arrive at viable proposals on ending the crisis by visiting Quagadougou last week to commence the peace process with the military junta.
The meeting was hosted by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari. Heads of State and Government present at the summit includes; President of Benin Thomas Boni Yayi, President of Cote d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara, President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama, President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Togo Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, Prime Minister of Guinea Mohammed Saïd Fofana, Prime Minister of Mali Modibo Keita, Ambassador of Burkina Faso to Nigeria, Firmin N’do, Ambassador of the Republic of Liberia to Nigeria, Al-Hassan Conteh, and Ambassador of the Republic of Sierra Leone to Nigeria, Alfred Claude Nelson-Williams.
Others are the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo and the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for West Africa, Dr Mohammed Chambas.
At the end of the session, the Summit decides to sent a High Committee of Heads of State and Government comprising Benin, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and Togo, under the chairmanship of the Chairman of the Authority to Ouagadougou yesterday, 23 September 2015 to ensure the reinstatement of the Transition President Michel Kafando to power; and convey the solidarity of ECOWAS to the Burkinabe people.