The Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, has bemoaned the rampant incidents of coup d’états in the sub-region.
According to him, the recent incidents in the sub-region is eroding its good reputation for democratic credentials.
Delivering a keynote address at a regional policy workshop on challenges, opportunities and best practices in building infrastructure for peace, organised by the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping and Training Centre in Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas stressed on the need for dialogue and mediation in salvaging the situation in the sub-region.
“Just at a time when many thought coup d’états as a means of gaining access to the political centre has become a thing of the past in West Africa, military interventions in politics and unconstitutional regime changes seem to be creeping back into the political arena of some states in the sub-region. The resurgence of military interventions sends very bad signals with serious potentials for democratic reversals across the region,” he said.
Guinea is the latest country in the sub-region where the military there ousted its sitting president.
President Alpha Condé was last month removed from office by the military. He was succeeded by the leader of the coup, a Special Forces Colonel, Mamady Doumbouya, who has subsequently been sworn into office as interim president.
Despite punitive actions by the ECOWAS against Guinea, it is yet to return to democratic governance.
Dr. Ibn Chambas expressed concern that a large section of the public endorses such coup d’états, noting that such a development requires that proactive steps are taken to avoid abuse of constitutions.
“Recent cases of coupe d’états in Mali and Guinea are particularly troubling… Public support for unconstitutional regime changes creates serious dilemma that complicates the enforcement of regional laws relating to democracy and good governance. More proactive interventions that prevent constitutional crisis is a critical way out of such dilemma. This, in turn, demands more practice engagement facilitated through dialogue and mediation,” he added.