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Ayorkor Botchwey: ECOWAS must consider amending its charter to forestall coups in West Africa

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs it is important for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to consider amending its charter on good governance and democracy to prevent coups bedeviling the West African sub-region.

Addressing the media ahead of Thursday’s Extraordinary ECOWAS summit Ayorkor Botchwey said, “On the issue of whether we should have preventive measures, I think that is very important and probably what we should be looking at now in view of what is happening is to amend the charter so that ECOWAS can have more stringent measures proactively to deal with such situations.”

She added, “So it is something that is being looked at. I am told that [not verified] there is something that has been done; it hasn’t gotten to the level of the Council of Ministers to go to the Heads of State. But in view of what is happening, I think it is something that maybe we should be looking at to actually forestall some of these situations.

“But when you do all the engagements that are necessary whether it’s from the Heads of States level or from the level of the Council of Ministers and the person says that this is my country; we’re a sovereign country there’s not much that you can do.”

Ayorkor Botchwey added, “But applying pressure is what we can all continue as ECOWAS, African Union and International Community at large so that these things do not happen. So yes, probably the time has come for us to do something to prevent such situations using very coercive means.”

Critical decision

Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo, the chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has called on his colleague Heads of State to contribute their best during deliberations to ensure that they deal decisively with the political situation in Guinea.

President Akufo-Addo in his opening statement at the extraordinary session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government, Thursday (16 September 2021) said he is confident that the leaders will rise to the occasion as they have done in the past.

“We are required to take informed decisions on these matters that would have long term consequences to the stability and the defence of democratic values of our region.

“I count on you, Your Excellencies to help proffer durable solutions to the crisis. I am confident that as in the past, we will rise to the occasion” ECOWAS Chair, President Akufo-Addo said.

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