West Africa: CSOs, OSIWA Urge ECOWAS to Lift Sanctions, Support Inclusive Political Transitions in Guinea, Mali & Burkina Faso

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Addressing a News Conference in Accra on Saturday, April 23, 2022, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Guinea, Mali and Burkina Faso, supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), noted that even though the sanctions imposed by ECOWAS on the three West African countries were legal, the real victims were the populations and were, therefore, unlikely to resolve the problems they were intended to address or resolve.

Madame Martha Adena, representing Action Jeumesse Feminine du Burkina Faso (AJF of Burkina Faso), who addressed the media, urged ECOWAS to assist the three states to identify the most important priorities that the transition to democratic governance could achieve more easily than a normal political regime.

These priorities, she said, were the revision of the constitutions of the three countries; review of organic laws that are incompatible with the new constitutions, including the electoral laws; census of the populations; organization of referenda and presidential elections; and the organization of legislative elections.

She, therefore, called for technical and financial support to facilitate the return to constitutional normalcy in Guinea, Mali and Burkina Faso, based on a timetable that allowed for the implementation of the priorities assigned to the transitions.

Furthermore, Madam Adena said, there was also the need for ECOWAS to collaborate with CSOs and the media in the resolution of the political and social crises in general and in the process of managing the transitions.

Specifically, she encouraged ECOWAS to support Mali in the organisation of its regional elections as a key priority due to that country’s peace and reconciliation agreement; support the process of organising a refoundation conference for Guinea; and to support Burkina Faso in implementing that country’s three-year roadmap.

Also present at the News Conference were Abdoul Rahamane Diallo of OSIWA, Senegal, Mahamadou Billo Bah of Front Nationale pour la Defense de la Constitution (FNDC, Guinea) and Abdulahi Guido of Mali.

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