Recent coups in African countries threaten democracy -Jonathan

“Sub-regions have faced unsavoury developments that have continued to pose a challenge to the peace, security, and sustainable development of West Africa.

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan said in Lagos on Monday that recent coups in some African countries posed threats to democracy.

Jonathan stated this at a two-day ECOWAS Council of the Wise (CoW) Strategic Retreat and Planning Workshop.

Jonathan, Chairperson of CoW noted that the commission was determined to restore peace in the troubled countries.

“Sub-regions have faced unsavoury developments that have continued to pose a challenge to the peace, security, and sustainable development of West Africa.

“Within the last two years, we have witnessed three military coups in Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso as well as coup attempts in Niger and Guinea Bissau.

“This development poses a serious threat to democracy in ECOWAS, especially at a time that onslaught of militants and terrorists across the Sahel and frontline countries have worsened the security situation in the sub- region.

“The ECOWAS Commission and the Authority of Heads of State and Governments have been working hard to restore peace and constitutionality in troubled member nations and return ECOWAS to the days of glory,’’ he said.

The former president noted that CoW’s task was a challenging one which required playing active roles in mediation and consultations to prevent and resolve conflicts.

Jonathan noted that the council would leverage the support from the ECOWAS Commission and authority to devise creative ways of mediating and undertaking peace missions.

He added that the Council should be in a position to catalyse an engagement process that would deepen the roots of democracy in the sub-regions.

“The meeting will be for debriefing and brainstorming on strategies for CoW to swiftly respond to, and mitigate the growing peace and security challenges in the region.

“We will undertake a comprehensive briefing on the ECOWAS early mechanisms and develop modalities for the operationalisation of the Council and members to jointly develop and validate a one-year plan of action,’’ the former president added.

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Mr Francis Behanzin, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security noted that the essence of the meeting was to strategise preventive action to avoid a further crisis in African nations.

“It is a retreat to plan actions to prevent crisis and as we know, conflicts don’t occur just like that as there are parameters that form conflict so we are in this meeting to come up with ways to prevent this.

“We are here to deliberate and find permanent solutions to crises in African countries and also to identify key problems to these crises and ensure they don’t occur anymore,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports ECOWAS member-countries were represented at the retreat.

 

(NAN)

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