FG solicits support of ECOWAS countries to stop illegal business on solid minerals

–Demands return to civil rule, release of President Kabore

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Authority of Heads of State and Government, on Friday resolved to engage with the leaders of the junta that recently seized authority in Burkina Faso.

Consequently, the ECOWAS body has agreed to send high-powered military and diplomatic emissaries to Ouagadougou, the capital of the country, on Saturday (today) for situation assessments of developments in the country.

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Speaking to journalists after an emergency virtual meeting of ECOWAS apex decision-making body, the Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyema, said President Muhammadu Buhari, is in support of the decisions taken.

According to the Minister, Nigeria is fully in support of the ECOWAS demand for an immediate return to constitutional rule, release of the incarcerated President Roch Marc Kabore and total cooperation with the regional body in the process of sorting out the current situation.

He said “the position is, of course, we condemn the coup and asking for immediate return to constitutional order, the release of the President and anybody else who’s being detained and to cooperate with ECOWAS and to be part of ECOWAS decisions”.

Asked what President Buhari told the ECOWAS meeting, Onyema said “he said he was in support of the decisions that were taken at this summit. They condemned the coup. They demanded immediate release of the President, who is being detained, and an immediate process of return to constitutional order.

“A decision that the Chiefs of Defense Staff of ECOWAS Member States should head tomorrow to Burkina Faso to assess the situation from a strategic also military angle, and to be followed immediately by a visit of a team of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of ECOWAS countries, again, to assess the situation and then report to a meeting of the Heads of States, and then a definitive decision will be taken as to how to proceed. ECOWAS is going to have to engage with the junta. Well, you have to”, he said.

Asked what might happen if the demands are not met, the Minister said “that’ll now be for the summit meeting, that’s what I was saying, to now take a definitive decision because they would have had the benefit of the input of the Chiefs of Defense Staff, the benefit of the input of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, who would have gone there, and then they will be in a position to now take an informed and definitive decision”, he said.

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