The Mediation and Security Council of
the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which comprises foreign
ministers of the sub-region meets Friday in Abuja, Nigeria. The
ministers are expected to deliberate on the military takeover in Guinea and
adopt a consensus position for Saturday’s ECOWAS heads of state summit also to
be held in Abuja.
The international community has condemned the December 23
coup despite the junta’s promise to hold elections within two years. The United
States has threatened to withhold some aid to that country.
Ibn Chambas told VOA the sub-region wants to remain on the
path to democracy with little tolerance for military coups.
meeting will receive a report from the two missions which the ECOWAS chairman,
His Excellency Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of Nigeria had already dispatched to Guinea
following the death of former President Lansana Conte and the taking of power
there of the military government the CNDD. Based on these reports, the
ministers will then assess the situation and recommend to the summit the
appropriate action that is necessary to be taken at this point by the region,”
Guinean coup leader Captain Moussa Camara who initially said he would hold
elections in two years has now changed to holding those elections at the end of
2009. He has also appointed a new civilian prime minister.
Chambas said ECOWAS cannot afford to tolerate a military regime in Guinea for
be frank with you, two years is way too long. We live in an era where within
the region there’s a zero tolerance for military governments, and I can assure
you that the region will find it unacceptable to live with a military
government for as long as two years,” Chambas said.
said Ghana’s successful election and the peaceful transfer of power would be an
inspiration to the people of Guinea and the West Africa sub-region as a whole.
a Ghanaian I feel personally very proud about what has happened in Ghana. But
again this underscores that different countries in the region are at different
levels in democratic development. And I believe that what has happen in Ghana
would be an inspiration to the civil society of Guinea so that they will also
realize that the moment has passed for military governments and that every
effort will be made to take the death of the former president, who had the
country more or less with an iron fist. And that’s the spirit in which the
deliberation will take place at the meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs
to see how the region can help Guinea to move quickly to accelerate the process
toward development of democracy in that country,” he said.
reiterated the sub-region has little tolerance for military governments.
we appreciate the location of Guinea in the Mano River Union area and while we
want to do everything to make sure that problems in that country are contained
to make sure that there is no spillover, we still have to ensure that we come
up with a principle position which underscores the fact that we want to move
West Africa on the path of democracy, and those who take power by other means
understand that there’s very little tolerance for that kind of approach,”