…gives junta six months to restore civilian rule
Following Thursday’s Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS member-states on the political situation in Guinea and Mali, the regional bloc has resolved to freeze the assets and placed travel bans on the Guinean military junta.
The communique issued at the end of the extraordinary summit held in Ghana revealed that ECOWAS leaders also demanded that the junta return Guinea to constitutional rule within six months.
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this on Friday in a statement titled, ‘ECOWAS extraordinary summit: Nigeria, ECOWAS insist on the prompt transition to civil rule in Guinea’.
At the end of the extraordinary summit, the ECOWAS communique stated that “After consideration of the Report and subsequent deliberations, the Authority decides as follows: to uphold the suspension of Guinea from all ECOWAS governing bodies until the restoration of constitutional order; to ensure the conduct of presidential and legislative elections within six months to restore constitutional rule in the Republic of Guinea; to impose sanctions, in accordance with extant ECOWAS Protocols, of travel bans on the members of the CNRD (the Guinean military junta) and their family members and to freeze their financial assets.”
As a crucial member of the region, Nigeria has also called on the Economic Community of West African States to insist on a short transition programme that will usher in a new civilian government in Guinea.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo stated this on Thursday while representing the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) at the Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS member-states on the political situation in the Republics of Guinea and Mali, which held in Accra, Ghana.
It would be recalled that at the last virtual summit of ECOWAS leaders on September 8, Nigeria, also represented by Osinbajo, condemned the coup in Guinea, calling for an unconditional release of President Alpha Conde, and for stringent measures on Guinea’s military junta.
Speaking at the Accra summit, Prof. Osinbajo restated Nigeria’s position, urging for the unconditional release of President Condé and calling for more pressure to be put on the country’s military leaders to return the nation to democratic rule.
According to the Vice President, “it is also important that ECOWAS should simply insist that there should be an immediate return to civil rule.”
Calling for more stringent measures to be taken by the sub-regional body, Osinbajo said “we must make sure that sanctions by ECOWAS achieve the intended objectives.”
The Vice President reiterated the call to engage global bodies and Africa’s development partners in taking steps to prevent such unconstitutional change of government in countries on the continent.
He said, “in this connection, I think we should engage all well-meaning stakeholders including the Africa Union, European Union, United Nations, developmental partners, and financial institutions to join in taking more stringent measures by imposing travel bans and freezing of offshore financial assets of the coupists and their collaborators to ensure that they do return the country to democracy immediately.”