Burkina Faso president meets ECOWAS official over Mali crisis

Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore on Friday held talks in the capital Ouagadougou with the commission president for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, over the crisis in Mali.

President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso

After the meeting, Ouedraogo said his institution was closely following the developing situation in Mali, where a junta seized power on Thursday after ECOWAS helped end the coup-induced crises in Guinea and Niger in recent years.

He said the current ECOWAS president, Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, will call an extraordinary summit of presidents from member countries on Tuesday in Abidjan to discuss the situation in Mali.

“President Ouattara has equally instructed me to go to Bamako today as part of the preparations for the upcoming summit,” the ECOWAS Commission president said.

Ouedraogo said his visit to Mali is to evaluate the situation and hold dialogue with the authorities with a view of ensuring that the main principles of ECOWAS on democracy and good governance are respected.

Yesterday, the ECOWAS Commission strongly condemned this usurpation of power from a democratically-elected Government, particularly just over a month before the nation is due to go to the polls to elect a new President. The action of the Junta is completely at odds with the provisions of the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and seriously undermines the painstaking gains that the ECOWAS Region has made in the last two decades to entrench democratic culture and the rule of law.

By this unconstitutional act, the Junta has automatically alienated and outlawed itself from the Community, and ECOWAS calls on it to immediately relinquish power to the rightful Government so that the country could return to constitutional normality. The Commission wishes to remind the CNRDR of its responsibility for the life, safety and security of the President and members of his Government, the population, as well as the respect for state institutions.

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