In a concerted effort to address the political turmoil in Mali, Niger Republic and Burkina Faso, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has urged the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) to resume dialogue with the countries led by coup leaders.
The CSOs advocated for the lifting of sanctions as a crucial step towards genuine reconciliation, while urging the authorities in the three countries to rescind their decisions to withdraw their membership from the ECOWAS.
This was contained in a communique signed by Kop’ep Dabugat – West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) – Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Solomon Adoga – Transition Monitoring (TMG), Patience Ikpeh-Obaulo – West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP-Nigeria), Ayo Adebusoye – Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGOs), Sina Odugbemi – Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), and Ezeobi Chiemelie – Thisday Newspaper, at the CSOs and media interactive meeting on the State of ECOWAS and regional integration in West Africa in Lagos on Monday, January 5.
The Coalition urged ECOWAS to collaborate with the authorities in these countries to urgently adopt transition plans with a clear roadmap for a quick restoration of democratic order.
The communique read in part:”ECOWAS should work with the authorities in these countries to ensure free, fair, and credible elections. We urge CSOs and the media to engage positively and ensure electoral transparency, popular participation, and inclusion in the electoral process.
“In the spirit of the ideals of ECOWAS VISION 2050, we call on ECOWAS to expedite the review of the ECOWAS supplementary protocol on good governance to prevent tenure elongation, electoral manipulation, and rigging, and to curb unconstitutional changes of government.
“With the adoption of Vision 2050, ECOWAS Parliament should begin to have elective representatives rather than appointive representation. This will contribute to making it a truly ECOWAS of the peoples.
“ECOWAS should operationalize the consultative aspects of the functions of the ECOWAS National Units to ensure connection with the citizens of Member States in the implementation of ECOWAS Agreements at the national levels, in line with the spirit of the ECOWAS Vision 2050.
“Civil society and the media should embark on peace missions to consult key stakeholders in the affected countries to provide support towards a quick return to constitutional democracy.
“ECOWAS, civil society, and the media should demand a quick, transparent, inclusive, free, fair, and credible election in Senegal as earlier scheduled. They should also condemn the arbitrary arrest and banning of political opposition from contesting the election.
“After successful resolution with the aggrieved countries, ECOWAS should support the member countries in strengthening their capacity to respond to present and emerging threats, including the activation of early warning and response capabilities.”