Are W/Africa’s juntas in alliance against Ecowas?

Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea, which are all led by rulers who seized power in military coups, looked to have…

Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea, which are all led by rulers who seized power in military coups, looked to have formed an unholy alliance against the West African regional bloc, Ecowas.The Malian and Guinean foreign ministers Abdoulaye Diop and Morissanda Kouyate respectively are participating in a mini-summit in Ouagadougou on Thursday hosted by their Burkinabe counterpart, Olivia Rouamba, APA can report.

 The three countries undergoing political transitions are organising the tripartite meeting “as part of consultations on issues of common interest,” a diplomatic source told APA.

 “The objective is to federate ideas, energies and means to be better heard by sub-regional, regional and international organisations. It is about speaking with one voice, sharing experiences and discussing each transition,” the Malian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on national television.


An anti-Ecowas ‘coalition’

 For some observers, it is a ‘coalition’ to face the injunctions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which these pariah countries say is in the “pay of France.”

 Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso are ruled by military leaders who came to power in coups, which were condemned by the sub-regional body.

 In August 2020, colonels overthrew Ibrahim Boubacar Keita whose power was weakened by a series of demonstrations by the June 5 Movement – Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP). These same soldiers “rectified” the transition resulting from the putsch nine months later before installing one of their own, Colonel Assimi Goita, in power.

 At the head of the National Committee of the Rally for Development (CNRD), Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya, former head of the Special Forces Group in Guinea, deposed Alpha Conde on 5 September 2021. 

Nine months earlier, Conde had just been re-elected for a controversial third term.

 In January 2022, Roch March Chrisian Kaboré bore the brunt of the deteriorating security situation in Burkina Faso. 

But his successor Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, was in turn deposed eight months later by his comrades in the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration (MPSR), led by a junior officer, Captain Ibrahim Traoré.

 Burkina Faso and Guinea were suspended from ECOWAS bodies, while Mali, in addition to this sanction, suffered a six-month embargo (January-July 2022). 

After obtaining “clear commitments” from the juntas in Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali on a 24-month transition, the sub-regional organisation decided to accompany the three countries towards a return to constitutional order.