…By Paul Ejime
In an attempt to revive the faltering regional peace efforts in Guinea following the military coup of September 5, ECOWAS on Sunday appointed Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas as its Special Envoy to that country.
This was one of the key decisions reached by the ECOWAS extraordinary Summit in Accra, Ghana.
Chambas had served as former Executive Secretary and President of the ECOWAS Commission and recently, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of the West African Office and the Sahel (UNOWAS).
Guinea will test his experience in conflict management.
The summit Communique also announced the imposition with immediate effect of sanctions, including travel ban and freeze of assets of officials of the transition government led by the coup arrowhead Col Mamady Doumbouya.
While acknowledging the transition Charter unveiled recently by the government and the appointment of Prime Minister and cabinet ministers, the regional leaders noted that no transition timetable had been announced.
They urged the government to quicken the return to constitutional order.
On Mali, another member State dealing with the fallouts of military coups, the Summit condemned the recent expulsion of the ECOWAS Special Representative by the Bamako government over allegations of attempting to destabilise the transition programme.
Nigeria’s former President Goodluck Jonathan, the regional Chief Mediator on Mali briefed the summit on his efforts.
The Summit reiterated ECOWAS’ call on the Col Assimi Goita-led government to respect the transition timetable and handover to civilians after proposed February 2022 elections.
The government has said the transition period could be extended.
The Accra Summit presided over by Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, Chair of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, was attended by 13 of the 15-nation bloc – five presidents, two vice presidents, and a prime minister, with others represented by cabinet ministers and Ambassadors.
Guinea and Mali are suspended from ECOWAS activities.