Dialogue is the panacea to ECOWAS, Alliance of Sahel States impasse – Commissioner

Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musah, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, says the impasse between the Economic Community of West African State and the Alliance of Sahel States (AoS) can be resolved through diplomatic measures, including dialogue.

He said the sub-regional body’s approach of resolving the political tensions of these countries through the imposition of sanctions had not yielded the desired results.

The ECOWAS Commissioner advocated for dialogue between the regional body and the member countries of the AoS to resolve the political tensions in those countries and to further strengthen the fight against terrorism in the region. 

Ambassador Dr Musah said this at a public lecture organised by the Council of Foreign Relations Ghana on the topic: “ECOWAS on the crossroads. Emergency threats, challenges and the way forward.”

“We must insist on the restoration of constitutional order in the countries in transition, like Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger through dialogue and peer pressure,” he said.

With that, he said, combating the manipulation of constitutional and electoral laws for unconstitutional maintenance of power through reforms and social and peer pressure on leaders with such intentions, was essential.

Amb. Musah said although the democracy on the continent had not provided the required public good and dividend, the viable alternative was not the return to military rule.

He said, “I am of the view that the military rule is not a viable alternative to electoral multiparty democracy. Empirical evidence in Africa between the 1970s and 1990s as well as the struggle of most military rule makes the argument for such mute.”

“This liberal democracy just started 30 years ago, although it may have failed to deliver enough public good but it saved us citizen rights and offers free choice. Military rule neither guarantees development or human right,” he added.

The ECOWAS Commisioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security said despite the political tension in the region, the West African Sub-region remained the most peaceful region on the African continent.

The AoS is an organization which was set-up by three countries namely, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali to serve as a counter multilateral organization relative to the sub-regional body.

The formation of the organization culminated into the exit of these countries from ECOWAS.

Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso in a joint communique announced their exit from the ECOWAS sub-regional body.

The countries cited several reasons, including the abandonment of the founding ideals and pandering to foreign powers notably France, occasioning their exit from the sub-regional bloc.  

Mr Cheick Boucardy Traore, President, African Convergence for Renewal, in an address, asked the regional body to redouble its negotiations with the AoS to manage tensions in the sub-region.

He said disengagement of the member countries of the AoS from the regional block was due to the abandonment of the founding ideals and the absence of economic and security support in the attempt to fight the “Jihadist” group in the Sahel.

“These countries say the ECOWAS has not provided them any assistance in the fight against terrorism but instead being content to impose illegal and illegitimate sanctions. Hence, their decisions to withdraw from the ECOWAS of which they have been members since the establishment in 1975. Over the years, we are becoming more critical about the decisions of the leaders of ECOWAS,” he said.

Mr Traore urged ECOWAS to strategise its objectives by revisiting the ideals of Pan Africanism in order to meet the economic and social expectations of the citizens.   

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.