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ECOWAS Restores Burkina Interim Leader to Power
MONROVIA, September 23 (LINA) - Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have ordered the restoration to power of Burkina Faso’s Interim President, Michel Kafondo, and called for peace, open-mindedness and a spirit of compromise by all stakeholders.
The order came at an ECOWAS extraordinary summit in Abuja, NigeriaTuesday.
The summit followed days of political turmoil in Burkina Faso caused by a coup d’etat by the elite Presidential Guards (RSP).
In welcome remarks, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari thanked his colleagues for responding to his invitation on short notice.
He noted that the recent developments in Burkina Faso ran contrary to the expectation and efforts so far undertaken by ECOWAS, the African Union, the United Nations and other international partners to restore constitutional order and democracy in Burkina Faso.
He thanked ECOWAS Chairman President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Boni Yayi of Benin, and the President of the ECOWAS Commission for initiating the peace process of engaging the military junta in Burkina Faso during their September 17 visit to that country.
“I am delighted that there are reports of some measure of understanding reached towards the resolution of the crisis,” the Nigerian leader stated.
Senegalese President Sall and Benin’s President Yayi visited Burkina Faso last Friday to assess the prevailing situation following Thursday’s coup by elements of the Presidential Guard under the leadership of General Gilbert Diendere.
Presidents Sall and Yayi have been the main ECOWAS mediators before ECOWAS heads of state announced on Tuesday that President Yayi would now be the main Facilitator.
For his part, President Sall underlined the importance of granting amnesty to the coup leaders and stated that amnesty was not a matter of impunity.
The one-day summit was climaxed by the signing of a Final Communiqué, which among several issues, urged the coup leaders to lay down their arms, and enjoined other military forces to refrain from using force to prevent the loss of lives.
Hosted by President Buhari of Nigeria, Tuesday’s ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on Burkina Faso was attended Presidents Boni Yayi of Benin, Macky Sall of Senegal, and John Dramani Mahama of Ghana.
Other heads of state in attendance were Presidents Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, and Faure Gnassingbe of Togo.
Liberia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Al-Hassan Conteh represented President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly’s 70th Session.
Also in attendance were the Prime Ministers of Guinea and Mali, Mohammed Fofana and Modibo Keita, respectively, while the ambassadors of Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone represented their respective countries.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, Vice President Dr. Toga McIntosh and other top executives of ECOWAS, and the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas also attended the summit which was held Tuesday at the Presidential Conference Center of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.