By Nathaniel Nartey
International Relations and Security Experts have described the emergency virtual Summit of ECOWAS Heads of States convened by President Akufo-Addo today, September 8, 2021, following the military takeover in Guinea as crucial.
Ahead of the Summit, the Experts, who spoke with Nathaniel Nartey, were hopeful the leaders’ decision would help to normalize the situation in Guinea. First is Dr. Rashid Pelpuo, who cautioned ECOWAS to be careful with any potential sanctions because the coup in Guinea has public support.
“The expectation is that the Emergency Summit will bring to bear some form of order in Guinea, but not to offset the government. Any sanctions against Guinea might not go as far as we might wish because you have the people heavily supporting the military and so ECOWAS is going to be a little careful in taking any decision that may hurt the people as a whole,” he said.
Security Analyst Adib Saani advised ECOWAS to use diplomacy instead of force in resolving the Guinea situation.
“I would expect that they use diplomacy instead of force because when sanctions are imposed on Guinea it doesn’t affect the military, it is rather going to exert more pressure on the ordinary Guinean who just been through a lot under Alpha Condé. So I hope that they are able to find a level-headed approach to dealing with the issues in Guinea and one of them would be the formation of a caretaker administration at the behest of the military.”
Mr. Saani also spoke about the inconsistencies in how ECOWAS handles Sub-regional issues including conflicts.
“ECOWAS is losing credibility because of certain things; their seeming silence over happenings in individual countries where the rights of citizens are violated with widespread corruption, nobody says anything about it but when the military takes them then they finally have a reason to speak. I think that ECOWAS is picky in the way they deal with individual countries,” according to Security Analyst Adib Saani.