June 21, 2024
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ECOWAS says it is implementing reforms to address unconstitutional changes of governments

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says that it is taking several steps to address the growing trend of unconstitutional changes in governments across the sub-region.

The President of ECOWAS, Omar Alieu Touray said that his outfit has robust regulations on the constitutional change of government and has been implementing the provisions of their mandate regarding unconstitutional changes.

In an exclusive interview on JoyNews, Mr Touray acknowledged that ECOWAS is aware of some criticisms and is actively incorporating them, emphasising that the criticism has helped them refocus and improve.

“So I don’t think anybody can face insecurity alone. That has been proven all over the world. So that is why it is important we all stay together and face the challenge that is facing the region.”

His remarks come after the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) issued an alert, warning of the potential for more unconstitutional changes of governments in other Member States by the military.

According to WANEP, the precarious political situation in West Africa is exacerbated by weak regional responses to actions in the Sahel countries and ongoing ‘constitutional coups’ in other member states.

Countries, including Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso have officially announced their exit from the(ECOWAS) with immediate effect.

In response, WANEP cautioned that additional coup d’états may occur judging from the instability trends in Senegal and other West African countries.

Commenting on the threats facing the subregions in West Africa ranging from violent extremism to political instability and ECOWAS’s efforts to tackle these challenges, Mr Touray stated, “ECOWAS is beyond governments; it is a community of people. The benefits of a community should be enjoyed by all our people.

“We cannot have a section of our people being denied the benefits of integration. Our people should continue to enjoy the free movement that they have gotten used to. They should be able to trade freely within the ECOWAS space. So we should we should work to to ensure that they continue to enjoy these,” he added.

The ECOWAS President further emphasised that his outfit is doing its utmost to engage in dialogue with Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso who have announced their intention to exit the subregional body.

He explained that the treaty provides for a one-year notice period for a country intending to withdraw, and while they are considering this, staying together is in the best interest of the communities that have been united for many years.

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