Report by Alex Adi
ECOWAS is maintaining its stance on sanctions imposed on Niger following a coup attempt in that country. This is based on reports of interference by the military in medical and humanitarian efforts by ECOWAS.
When the 64th summit of the Authority of heads of state and governments opened in Nigeria, chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and governments and President of Nigeria, Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, emphasised that ECOWAS vehemently opposed any form of unconstitutional change of governments in the region and could only respect and accept democratically elected governments.
Political tensions in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Niger have dominated discussions at recently held ECOWAS summits. Issues of a common currency, the ECO, removal of trade barriers, streamlining of funds collected under the 0.5 import levy between member states who import outside the region, health improvement, and the region’s biodiversity development, among many topical issues, have reached considerable levels of adoption aimed at reaching a common market and also promoting regional integration.
At the opening of the 64th ordinary summit of the Authority of heads of state and government, member states resolved to project a zero tolerance for unconstitutional rule among member states.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, identified some breaches in sanctions imposed on coup-hit countries and asked leaders to strive for a concerted effort at advancing peace and stability.
Despite challenges and some success achieved in the ECOWAS region, in maintaining peace among member states, the Chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government and President of Nigeria, Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, believes there is more hope in the region if there is a conscious effort towards positive change towards security issues and upholding of principles of democracy and good governance.
Representatives from the UN and the AU made an undertaking to ECOWAS in finding a lasting solution to challenges in the ECOWAS region. The outgoing president of Liberia, Mr. George Weah, received a standing ovation for showing true statesmanship in accepting the results of the recently held election in his home country – a move described by ECOWAS as shattering the narrative that “elections are won in Africa only through military Coups”.
At the end of the summit, leaders will issue a communiqué on resolutions made in critical areas for implementation.