LIBERIA: President Weah expresses strong opposition to the military takeover in Burkina Faso

President of the Republic, Dr. George Manneh Weah

The President of the Republic, Dr. George Manneh Weah, has expressed strong opposition to the military takeover in Burkina Faso, condemning the dissolution of the democratically-elected President, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.

Addressing an Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS on Friday, January 28, 2022, by virtual, President Weah reiterated Liberia’s policy of absolute zero tolerance for coup d’etats and called on the military authorities in Burkina Faso to, without delay, restore the duly elected President to power and return the country to constitutional, democratic order.

“Liberia also recommends the use of multi-track diplomacy to address the grievances of stakeholders in preventing coup d’états in our region,” he said, urging Member States to redouble their efforts in supporting the ECOWAS Fund for Combating Terrorism in the ECOWAS Region.

In his virtual statement to his colleagues, Dr. Weah intimated: “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 predict future disruptions of the political and security situation in our Member States.”

He told ECOWAS leaders that the protracted, endogenous factors of terrorism and militant insurgencies in Burkina Faso caused the collapse of the security condition in the country, and made this situation inevitable.

“To address this peculiar situation,” the Liberian Chief Executive said, “the Authority may wish to include in its current strategy based on the application of the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, the ECOWAS conflict prevention mechanism of engaging relevant stakeholders in preventive diplomacy where conflicts are brewing to stem the trend of coup d’états in the region.”

Considering the situation to have been triggered by terrorism and other security impasses, President Weah urged ECOWAS Authority to consider the provision of humanitarian support to the vulnerable groups that have been affected by the declining security in Burkina Faso.

He also implored ECOWAS Authority to impose 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,” President Weah suggested further.

He recalled that it was 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 first was the 2015 attempted coup triggered by transitional grievances by the Presidential Guard, who subsequently installed the National Council for Democracy (CND) Government.

The Liberian Leader thanked the Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana, for what he called “his pro-activeness” in swiftly convening this Virtual Summit on our fraternal Member State of Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso last week experienced a putsch that overthrew the democratically elected Government of President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.

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