The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) decided to freeze Burkina Faso’s membership, and to send a military delegation consisting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the countries of the group today, Saturday, to assess the situation and explain the seriousness of the coup against the country.
The group of 15 countries will hold a new summit on February 3 in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, in the presence of heads of state in the region, to assess the situation again in this country after the army ousted President Rok Kabore last Monday.
The group also demanded the release of ousted President Kabore, who is under house arrest, and of other detained officials.
The summit also decided to send, later on Saturday, to Ouagadougou, a delegation comprising the chiefs of staff of the armies of the group’s countries, to send a ministerial delegation next Monday.
The next summit in Accra will discuss a report submitted by the aforementioned delegations to take a decision on the possibility of imposing additional sanctions on Burkina Faso, similar to what it has done towards Mali and Guinea, which also witnessed two military coups.
Hundreds of Ouagadougou residents took to the streets of the capital to celebrate the army’s seizure of power. “Our suffering will stop now. We ask the soldiers we trust to work together for the return of peace to Burkina Faso,” said a local resident who supported the coup.
The government and the National Assembly (Parliament) were dissolved and the country’s borders closed “until further notice”, in addition to a night-time curfew. The coup leaders did not explain how and when the country’s 21 million people could return to democratic life.