HIS EXCELLENCY DR. GEORGE MANNEH WEAH
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA
VIRTUAL EXTRAORDINARY SUMMIT
ECOWAS HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENTS
ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN BURKINA FASO
JANUARY 28, 2022
Your Excellency Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
President of the Republic of Ghana,
Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government;
Distinguished Colleagues of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government;
The President and Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission;
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel;
Honorable Ministers and Other Distinguished Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Let me begin by extending heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, His Excellency Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for his pro-activity in swiftly convening this Virtual Summit on our fraternal Member State of Burkina Faso, which recently experienced a putsch that overthrew the democratically elected Government of President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.
Excellencies, you may recall that this is the second time since 2015 that the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government is convening an Extraordinary Summit to address the political situation in Burkina Faso. The 2015 attempted coup was triggered by transitional grievances by the Presidential Guard, who subsequently installed the National Council for Democracy (CND) Government.
The then Chair of the ECOWAS Authority, H.E. President Macky Sall of Senegal, appointed the former President of Benin, H.E. Thomas Boni Yayi as ECOWAS Facilitator on Burkina Faso.
It was instructive that ECOWAS employed carrot-and-stick measures at the time; respectively, to address the transitional problems that caused the disruption of the government, while applying its Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance to curtail the political impasse besetting the transition in Burkina Faso.
Mr. Chairman, and Excellencies, with respect to the current situation, it is paradoxical that the Burkina Faso's experience in 2015, coupled with the strong ECOWAS sanctions against the military authorities of Burkina Faso's neighbor, Mali, for twice conducting coup d'états, did not deter the current military brass of Burkina Faso from instituting a coup against its duly elected government.
As we convene to address this unsettling situation, Liberia wishes to reiterate its policy of absolute zero tolerance for coup d'états, and strongly condemns the dissolution of the duly democratically-elected Government of President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.
Liberia also calls on the military authorities to restore the duly elected President to power, and to return Burkina Faso to a constitutional, democratic order without delay.
Mr. Chairman, to address the recurrent coups in our region, Liberia wishes to echo its previous recommendation to the Authority of Heads of State and Government to urgently revise the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance by including initiative-taking mechanisms for engaging stakeholders, including the military, in situations where ECOWAS Early Warning Mechanisms clearly predict future disruptions of the political and security situation in our Member States.
With respect to the evolution of the recent political situation in Burkina Faso, it is clear that the protracted, endogenous factors of terrorism and militant insurgencies in Burkina Faso caused the collapse of the security condition in the country, which made this situation inevitable.
To address this peculiar situation, the Authority may wish to include in its current strategy based on application of the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, the ECOWAS conflict prevention mechanism of engaging relevant stake holders in preventive diplomacy where conflicts are brewing to stem the trend of coup d'états in the region.
Liberia also recommends the use of multi-track Diplomacy to address the grievances of stakeholders in preventing coup d'états in our region.
In view of the unique conflict circumstances of Burkina Faso triggered, ipso facto, by the insurgency and terrorism by militant groups, the Authority should consider the provision of humanitarian support to the vulnerable groups that have been affected by the declining security in Burkina Faso, while considering applicable sanctions on military authorities for disrupting the democratic and constitutional processes in Burkina Faso, as provided by the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
In addition to the appointment of an ECOWAS Facilitator for Burkina Faso, the recently constituted ECOWAS Council of the Wise should be deployed, as soon as possible, to engage in back-channel discussions with the stakeholders in addressing their grievances for the swift return to constitutional and democratic orders.
Finally, Liberia calls on all Member States to redouble their efforts in supporting the ECOWAS Fund for Combating Terrorism in the ECOWAS Region.
I thank you.