Ecowas Chairman, President Nana Akufo-Addo, has called for a strong commitment from West African leaders to end the resurgence of coup d’etats to avert the destabilisation of the region.
“Excellencies, the resurgence of coup d’etats in the region is a matter of grave concern. This evolution challenges the democratic way of life we have chosen and we need to stand firm to protect democracy and freedom in the region.
“Let’s address this dangerous trend collectively and decisively before it devastates the whole region,” President Akufo-Addo said yesterday at the opening of the bloc’s extraordinary summit in Accra to deliberate on the political situation in Burkina Faso.
The meeting will also examine the current situation in Guinea and Mali and the contagious effect on the Region.
The regional bloc, which is grappling with terrorist attacks, insurgency and the Covid-19 pandemic, has experienced three military take-overs in the past 19 months, the latest being the January 24, 2022, coup in Burkina Faso, where army officers demanded the sacking of military chiefs and more resources to fight Jihadists, deposed 64-year-old President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.
Ecowas condemned the coup sternly and had asked the junta to return the country to constitutional rule.
G-Bissau says 11 killed in foiled coup as it launches probe
Meanwhile, Guinea-Bissau has launched a major investigation into a foiled attempt to overthrow President Umaro Sissoco Embalo, who survived a gun attack on Tuesday in the uprising that claimed 11 lives, according to the government.
“The government mourns … the loss of 11 valiant men during the attack. Eleven victims – soldiers and paramilitaries, four civilians including a top agriculture ministry official and his driver,” government spokesman Fernando Vaz said on Wednesday, who is also the West African country’s tourism minister.
Heavily armed men on Tuesday afternoon surrounded government buildings in the capital Bissau where Embalo and his prime minister were believed to be attending a cabinet meeting.
Embalo, 49, later told reporters that he had been unharmed during a five-hour gun battle, which he described as a plot to wipe out the government in Guinea-Bissau, one of Africa’s most unstable countries.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Embalo said that assailants had tried to “kill the president of the republic and the entire cabinet”.
“The attackers could have spoken to me before these bloody events that have seriously injured many and claimed lives,” he added, appearing calm.
The exact death toll from the attack and the identity and motives of the assailants remain unclear.
But Embalo said the attack was linked to decisions he had taken “to fight drug trafficking and corruption”.