This statement reinforces our position that the regional block-the Economic Community of West African States-is bidding France’s colonial oppressive agenda in the Sahel region, i.e. Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. In the first place we condemn the use of collective punishment against a whole people.
That is to say, much as the Sahel Solidarity Campaign Network (SaS-CaN) is concerned, ECOWAS has no moral arguments to justify its policy of isolation and collective punishments through sanctions against the Sahel countries.
ECOWAS coercive measures being applied as weapon to exert political and economic pressure to bear on Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger cannot but should be seen here as an attempt to bid France’s colonial agenda in the sub-region. We call for the immediate and unconditional reversal of ECOWAS collective punishment against Africans in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger and an end to France’s meddling mentality in the affairs of African countries. If anything, we call on ECOWAS to press for the actualisation of the proposed West African single currency, known as ECO.
To any sane-thinking, peace and freedom-loving person, what is happening in the Sahel region is not only an attempt to kill the ongoing development in Africa. It is also an attempt to apply and enforce the design and tastes by certain foreign powers as means of limiting the sovereignty of states to determine their political, economic and social systems, particularly against the progressive African countries in the Sahel region.
Through this statement, therefore, we want to bring to the notice and understanding of Africans on the continent and abroad that ECOWAS anti-African and colonial-driven measures are hurting Africans and depriving them of basic human rights and civil liberties. Africans must also understand that ECOWAS measures have multiple political consequences, such as weakening peace, influencing instability, social unrest and insecurity, as well as deterring economic growth and sustainability of the environment.
It is no more a secret to mention in this statement that at a time when the Sahel nations are working hard to rebuild their countries and improve on the living standards of their citizens, ECOWAS is hell-bent on creating artificial barriers that clinched on violating human rights and civil liberties of Africans. It goes without saying that Africans everywhere are now being compelled by the present circumstances to resist and protests against ECOWAS ill-fated policy against citizens of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.
Much as we advocate peace, human rights, civil liberties, development and sustainability of the environment, ECOWAS has done more harm than good in the sub-region. Africans know this as do the friends of Africa. We call on Africans everywhere to resist these indignities by organising platforms, making public statements, organising rallies and media interviews as expression of indignation and condemnation. It is thus clear that ECOWAS measures also reveal a long-existent and glaring thirst to bid France colonial-driven agenda in the region.
It is very clear that ECOWAS collective punishment against Africans in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger is essentially unwanted, illegal, unjustifiable and complete violation of basic human rights and civil liberties. Simply, the pretexts for this policy only border on implementing France’s colonial agenda in Africa. This is our cry against ECOWAS.
Viva Africans in the Sahel
Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh
Co-founder and President
The Sahel Solidarity Campaign Network