President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the international community to support the sanctions placed by ECOWAS on Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso where the militaries have seized power.
That measure, he noted, would help in the efforts to curtail worrying political developments and stem democratic decline across the West African region.
Speaking at this year’s presentation of New Year Greetings to members of the Diplomatic Corps at the Peduase Lodge in the Eastern Region, the President noted that the recent military take-overs in those three countries were, “grave setbacks to democracy for the citizens of these countries and indeed for the entire ECOWAS community.”
He said even though several readings, including those related to the economy and security have been proffered by the new military rulers to justify these coup d’état’s, “No reason is good enough to dispense with the freely expressed will of the people.”
President Akufo-Addo emphasized that was replete with clear examples to show that military interventions have never addressed the challenges that necessitated forceful takeover of governments.
“Our collective history has taught us that these military interventions are never a panacea for addressing whatever challenges that a nation may be confronted with…Decisive steps need to be taken to preserve democracy and freedom in the region as well as to overcome the additional security challenges posed through terrorist activity.
“And as I stressed during the recent extraordinary Summit in Accra, West Africa will remain unsafe until drastic measures are instituted to consolidate and entrench democratic tenants, which are necessary for economic development and the protection of freedom.
“In this regard, I urge you and your respective countries and organizations to lend your wholehearted support for these sanctions to ensure their effectiveness,” the President told the diplomats.
The regional bloc, which is grappling with terrorist attacks, insurgency, and the COVID-19 pandemic, has experienced four military take-overs in the past 19 months, two in Mali and one each in Burkina Faso and Guinea, due to widespread frustration about corruption and the inability those governments to fight jihadist who continue to make the Sahel insecure.
ECOWAS has sternly condemned the coup and asked the coup makers return the country to constitutional rule. The bloc has made it clear to the military rulers in the three countries that the sanctions will be progressively lifted when they present acceptable timetables for the restoration of democratic rule.
“The ball is firmly in their court,” President Akufo-Addo told the diplomatic corps.