By Edrissa Jallow, @EdrissaJallow10
The President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice, Hon Justice Edward Amoako Asante has confirmed that Guinea Conakry, Mali, and Burkina Faso have been suspended by the member states for unconstitutional change of government.
President Asante made these remarks during his submission at the opening ceremony of the 2023 International Conference of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice.
The event which commenced on Monday 22nd May at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center converged Chief Justices, High Court Judges, and Lawyers within the Community. The four-day event is expected to conclude on Thursday 25th May 2023.
The conference is convened under the theme “ECOWAS’ Zero Tolerance for Unconstitutional Change of Government”. The ECOWAS Court President says the theme “was very carefully chosen by the court” and “The intention of the court choosing this theme is to focus on the need for participatory democracy and constitutional order in all ECOWAS member states”.
“There have been military interventions in governance through Military Coups in the past two years in three ECOWAS member states, the Republic of Mali, Guinea [Conakry], and Burkina Faso [and l] as we speak, these member states are under Military dictatorship and have been suspended from the community by the authority of the head states and governments,” says President Amoako.
According to Justice Edward Amoako, the unconstitutional change of government occurring for the past two years is a “burning issue, the violation of which is a very grave concern in our [ECOWAS] community”.
ECOWAS Court President also informed the audience that “the authority of Head of States, governments and ECOWAS has taken a proactive step of suspending the three member states from the community and imposed a range of sanctions pass engaging with the military of dictators for restoration of democracy and constitutional order as soon as possible”.
It could be recalled on 5th September 2021, Guinea President Alpha Conde was overthrown by the Military led by Colonel Mamadi Dumbuya after serving 11 years in power.
After leading the successful coup, Colonel Dumbuya appeared shortly on state TV announcing that “the Guinean personalization of political life is over [and] we [Guineans] will no longer entrust politics to one man [rather] we will entrust it to the people”.
The latest coup d’état in Burkina Fasso was on Friday 30th September 2022 led by Captain Ibrahim Traore who was the head of the artillery unit of Burkina Faso Armed Forces. Captain Tarore ousted a 9-month sitting junta leader who he claims fails to address the security issues in Burkina Faso.
While in Mali, on Monday 24th May 2021, Assimi Goïta the military Vice President of Mali overthrew the government through the barrel of the gun.
The President of the ECOWAS Court reiterate that “the unconstitutional change of government in the said three states is a grieved setback for the community is therefore highly regrettable by the West African sub-region as once again suffered a rush of military interventions in governance with a risk of spreading to other member states”.