The leaders of West African nations on Sunday elected Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the new president of Nigeria, to lead the regional bloc for the upcoming year in place of Umaro Sissoco Embalo.
Following his election as ECOWAS chairman, Tinubu stated democracy was “the best form of government” despite being “very difficult to manage” in a speech at a conference in Bissau.
To set an example for the rest of Africa and the globe, he stated, “We need it. “We won’t permit another coup in West Africa,”
Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso are three ECOWAS states who have had five putsches since 2020.
The ECOWAS commission’s president, Omar Alieu Touray, pleaded with the juntas in charge of those nations to adhere to the timelines set for transferring control to civilians.
Major consequences “could be imposed” if the changeover timelines weren’t met, he warned.
On Saturday, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) decided to end Mali’s suspension that had been in place since January 2022 due to the military’s projected schedule for resuming civilian government.
ECOWAS had also imposed a number of restrictions on the Sahel state, although these were later eased in July 2022 after the junta agreed to a transition in March 2024.
As the UN prepares to end its decade-long peacekeeping deployment in Mali, Touray announced on Sunday that ECOWAS had established a commission to look into security alternatives there.
He stated, “This commission has 90 days to consider and make recommendations.”
Since 2012, Mali has been waging war against a jihadist insurgency that has since engulfed Burkina Faso and Niger.
Africa’s largest economy’s new president, Tinubu, who took office in May, promised that ECOWAS countries will work toward “inclusive” economic union in the coming year.
“We should serve a warning to exploiters that our people have suffered enough,” he said on Sunday.
“I am with you – and Nigeria, we are back.”
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