Ecowas suspends Burkina Faso following military coup

Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba

Leader of Burkina Faso's new military junta Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba speaking during a televised address, three days after the overthrow of Burkina Faso's president.

Photo credit: AFP

The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has suspended Burkina Faso after Monday's coup that saw the country’s democratically elected President Roch Marc Christian Kabore ousted.

The decision was reached at an extraordinary summit of heads of state of the West African bloc on Friday.

A communique issued at the end of the summit that was held via video conference repeated Ecowas’ condemnation of the coup and expressed “deep concern” over the resurgence of military coups in the region. But Burkina Faso is suspended from all institutions of the bloc, according to its communique.

Suspension is usually the first step taken against a country which has acted in violation of the Ecowas protocol that prohibits military takeovers.

Anti-government protests

The coup in Burkina Faso came after three days of anti-government protests that culminated into an army mutiny.

The soldiers, who eventually arrested the president and took over control of the country, blamed Kabore’s government for failing to deal with insecurity.

The Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration (MPSR) junta has promised to transition the country to civilian rules, but it hasn’t provided any clear detail.

The new junta leader, Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba, made his first public statement after assuming power on Thursday, the eve of the Ecowas summit. In an address to the nation, Lt Col. Damiba defended his action, blaming it on the inability of the former president to secure the country. He urged the international community to support Burkina Faso to fix its problem.

But the Ecowas leaders said military takeovers in the region were unacceptable.  


“The Authority reaffirms its resolute commitment to upholding the zero tolerance for acceding power through unconstitutional means as enshrined in the 2001 Ecowas Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good governance,” the communique reads.

Ten heads of states attended the summit which was chaired by Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is the chairperson of the bloc. Also in attendance were the President of the Ecowas Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou and his African Union counterpart, Moussa Faki Mahamat, as well as the UN Special Representative to West Africa and the Sahel, Mahamat Saleh Annadif.

The West African leaders demanded the immediate release and protection of President Kabore and all the other political detainees and the immediate restoration of constitutional order. They urged the army to focus on safeguarding the territorial integrity of the country.

Junta leaders

According to the communique, the leaders have instructed the deployment of a delegation of the Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CCDS) to Burkina Faso to hold consultations with junta leaders, carry out an assessment of the security situation in the country and submit a report to be reviewed by the heads of state. 

The Ecowas Commission will also facilitate the deployment of a joint Ecowas Ministerial Mission to the country on January 31, to assess the political situation and submit their report to the heads of state, it says.

Another Extraordinary Summit has been slated for February 3, 2022 in Accra, Ghana to re-examine the situation in the three countries under military rule in the region.


You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.