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Amendment of ECOWAS charter will forestall coups in West Africa – Ayorkor Botchwey

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• Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey says ECOWAS should consider amending its charter on good governance

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• She said, this will prevent coups bedevilling the West African sub-region

• She made this known to journalists in Accra ahead of the ECOWAS summit

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has advised the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to consider amending its charter on good governance and democracy to prevent coups bedevilling the West African sub-region.

Speaking to the media in Accra ahead of the September 16 extraordinary ECOWAS summit, she explianed, “on the issue of whether we should have preventive measures, I think that is very important and probably what we should be looking at now in view of what is happening, is to amend the charter so that ECOWAS can have more stringent measures proactively to deal with such situations.

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“So it is something that is being looked at. I am told that [not verified] there is something that has been done; it hasn’t gotten to the level of the Council of Ministers to go to the Heads of State. But in view of what is happening, I think it is something that maybe we should be looking at to actually forestall some of these situations.

“But when you do all the engagements that are necessary whether it’s from the Heads of States level or from the level of the Council of Ministers and the person says that this is my country; we’re a sovereign country there’s not much that you can do.”

Ayorkor Botchwey noted that, by applying pressure on the various West African states, it will go a long way to prevent another coup from happening in the future.

“But applying pressure is what we can all continue (to do) as ECOWAS, African Union and International Community at large so that these things do not happen. So yes, probably the time has come for us to do something to prevent such situations using very coercive means,” she said.

Meanwhile ECOWAS Thursday imposed sanctions, including a freeze in financial assets and travel bans, on the military junta in Guinea.

The bloc has also given the military rulers a six-month ultimatum to return the country to constitutional order, Jean-Claude Kassie Brou, ECOWAS President, told the media after the regional grouping’s extraordinary Summit, in Accra, to firm up a decision on the political impasse in Guinea.

Eight leaders, including the Presidents of Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau and Niger, took part in the meeting.

Nigeria was being represented by its Vice President. Three other foreign ministers and a prime minister represented their countries.

The Summit, opened by ECOWAS chairman Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, discussed the outcome of the high-level mission that the Bloc sent to Guinea last week after the virtual emergency meeting of the region’s leaders on September 8, 2021, following the ouster of President Alpha Conde by an elite unit of that country’s military on September 5.

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