President Nana Akufo-Addo is unhappy with the spate of coups in some West African countries.
A number of West African countries have experienced coups in recent times.
With regard to Mali, Akufo-Addo said the French-led troop withdrawal from that country requires new arrangements in the regional fight against terrorism.
In an interview with FRANCE 24 at the EU-African Union summit in Brussels, President Akufo-Addo demanded the departure of “foreign mercenaries from the region and explained that negotiations are underway with the Malian junta on an election timetable.“
The ECOWAS Chair further expressed optimism about a swift transition to civilian rule in Burkina Faso, noting that the junta had “moved very quickly” to engage in consultations.
He warned the coup leaders in Guinea that new ECOWAS sanctions could be instituted if they do not provide a timetable for a transition “as soon as possible”.
Akufo-Addo additionally insisted that military coups in West Africa are unacceptable, saying “we do not want this contagion to spread”.
He added that the issue of third presidential terms was also “a matter of concern for the region.”
Background of Mali coup
In August 2020, army officers led by Colonel Assimi Goita overthrew elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Colonel Goita subsequently promised to restore civilian rule in February 2022 after holding presidential and legislative elections.
But an interim civilian government was forced out in May 2021, disrupting the reform timetable, and was met with widespread diplomatic condemnation.
At a summit on December 12, ECOWAS leaders reiterated demands that the elections be held by February 27 as initially planned.
They maintained sanctions such as asset freezes and travel bans within the ECOWAS region against around 150 junta figures and their families, and threatened further economic and financial measures.