ECOWAS Leaders including President Muhammadu Buhari, at an emergency virtual meeting on Friday, have called for the immediate release of ousted President Roch Marc Kabore of Burkina Faso.
A mutiny, led by Burkina Faso’s new military leader Lt.-Col. Paul-Henri Damiba, ousted President Kabore on Monday.
The junta, who called themselves the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration (MPSR), blamed the detained ousted President for failing to contain worsening violence by Islamist militants.
Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama who briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the emergency ECOWAS meeting, said the West African leaders condemned the coup.
He said they also demanded the immediate process of return to constitutional order.
Onyeama also disclosed that the ECOWAS leaders had authorised their Chiefs of Defence Staff to visit Burkina Faso to assess the situation in the troubled country.
”Well the position is, of course, we condemn the coup and are asking for immediate return to constitutional order, the release of the President and anybody else who is being detained and to cooperate with ECOWAS and to be part of ECOWAS decisions.
”They condemned the coup. They demanded immediate release of the President, who is being detained and an immediate process of return to constitutional order.
”A decision that the Chiefs of Defense Staff of ECOWAS Member States should head tomorrow to Burkina Faso to assess the situation from a strategic military angle (was taken).
”This will be followed immediately by a visit of a team of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of ECOWAS countries.
“Again, to assess the situation and then report to a meeting of the Heads of States and, then, a definitive decision will be taken as to how to proceed,” Onyeama said.
ECOWAS had already imposed sanctions on Mali and Guinea following military takeovers in Aug. 2020 and Sept. 2021, respectively.