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ECOWAS: No new sanctions against Burkina Faso after coup

February 4, 2022

Instead of fresh sanctions, leaders called for a return to democracy and the release of ousted President Roch Marc Christian Kabore "within the shortest time." ECOWAS is also deploying soldiers to Guinea-Bissau.

People show their support for the military after they deposed President Kabore
Burkina Faso has avoided fresh sanctions from the West African bloc for now — but only if deposed President Kabore is releasedImage: Vincent Bado/REUTERS

West African leaders decided against immediately imposing fresh sanctions against the new military junta in Burkina Faso, the bloc decided at an emergency summit on Thursday.

The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) instead called on the military rulers to come up with a date for returning the country to democratic rule.

Last week Burkina Faso was suspended from the bloc after it became the third country in the region where the military seized power in a coup in the past few months.

ECOWAS has already imposed sanctions on Mali and Guinea following last year's military takeovers there.

They vowed to take similar action against the junta in Burkina Faso if they failed to release deposed leader Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

"If really they don't release him, they will take sanctions,'' ECOWAS Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou said.

West African force to be deployed in Guinea-Bissau

At their emergency summit in the Ghanaian capital Accra, the regional leaders also decided to deploy troops to Guinea-Bissau to help stabilize the country following a failed coup early this week.

"The stabilization force is to prevent any attempt by the military to take over the country again,'' Brou said.

President Umaro Sissoco Embalo said stability was restored in the country after the government said attackers intended to assassinate the president in a coup attempt in the country's capital, Bissau on Tuesday.

Embalo has previously said he did not believe the army was involved in the coup attempt.

ECOWAS deployed a similar mission to Guinea-Bissau from 2012 to 2020 after a coup.

"The stabilization force is to prevent any attempt by the military to take over the country again,'' Brou said.

lo/rs (AP, Reuters)