By Charles Nwabardi

 

The African Union, United Nations and Western countries have joined Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in condemning the military coup d’état against President Roch Marc Christian Kabore in Burkina Faso, which occurred on Monday, January 24, 2022 as they called for the release of the deposed President including members of his Cabinet.

In a statement, Moussa Faki Mahamat, AU Commission chairperson, called “on the national army and the country’s security forces to strictly adhere to their republican vocation, namely the defense of the country’s internal and external security.”

UN Secretary General, António Guterres, said he was following developments in the country “with deep concern” and condemned any attempt to take over a government by the force of arms.

“Coup leaders must lay down their arms & ensure the safety of the President and the protection of the country’s institutions,” Mr Guterres said.

Former colonial Master, France, also reacted, yesterday, with President Emmanuel Macron saying France was “clearly, as always” in agreement with ECOWAS in condemning the military takeover.

 

The U.S. government also said it was “deeply concerned” by the events and called on the military to deescalate the situation.

“We acknowledge the tremendous stress on Burkinabé society and security forces posed by ISIS and JNIM but urge military officers to step back, return to their barracks, and address their concerns through dialogue,” it said, adding: “The United States is closely monitoring this fluid situation, and we call for restraint by all actors as we carefully review the events on the ground for any potential impact on our assistance.”

President Kabore, first elected in 2015, was re-elected in 2020 for his second five-year term. But his administration has been faced with recurrent protests fueled by frustration caused by its apparent inability to contain an Islamist insurgency in the country, which has reportedly claimed thousands of lives and displaced an estimated 1.5 million people, according to UN estimates.

ECOWAS said it would hold the military responsible if anything happens to the deposed President. It also plans to convene an emergency summit over the development.

In a statement, the West African bloc condemned the Burkinabe military for defying regional and international appeals to respect constitutional order.

“ECOWAS notes that, despite calls from the regional and international community for calm and respect for constitutional legality, the situation in Burkina Faso is characterised by a military coup this Monday, January 24, 2022,” ECOWAS Commission statement reads.

 

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