May 22, 2022

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Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso: Four coups and a changing response from West Africa

Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso: Four coups and a changing response from West Africa

# Financial : The soldiers who seized power in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso all began a “transition” with very lofty goals, but none of them disbelieved in their will or ability to quickly redirect civilians back to their country in crisis.

The four coups in the region since 2020 have called for different responses from the international community and, in the front line, from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which includes its three member states and is meeting again. Friday in Mali.

Four putschists in 17 months

Mali: On August 18, 2020, a group of officers, including Colonel Asmi Guetta, ousted elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta after months of protests fueled by widespread violence since 2012, economic stagnation and corruption.

Mali (bis): On May 24, 2021, Colonel Gotha arrested the so-called “transitional” president and prime minister who had been installed by the junta but to the dismay of the army. Colonel Guetta, in turn, was appointed chief.

– Guinea: On September 5, 2021, Colonel Mamadi Domboya, at the head of his special forces, arrested President Alpha Condé, who has been shaken by bloody protests for his third term in the past two years. Colonel Domboya is sworn in as interim president on 1 October.

– Burkina: On January 24, 2022, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba took power after two days of rebellion and sacked president-elect, Roch Marc Christian Kabore, in the context of exasperation with the contagion of jihadists. Lieutenant Colonel Damiba is sworn in on February 16.

return of civilians

The new leaders are asserting that they are not here to stay. They promise to “re-establish” their state. They have a “transitional charter” put in place, which is sort of the groundwork for a period that’s meant to remain transitional. They installed a prime minister, a cabinet, and a body in place of an unelected parliament, all of which are closely monitored.

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In Mali and Guinea, the military pledges to return power to civilians after elections. Under pressure from the Economic Community of West African States, the Malian colonels first scheduled elections for February 2022. At the end of 2021, they backtracked and talked about staying for up to five more years. They have recently indicated that they are ready to reduce their claims to an additional two years instead of five.

– In Guinea, Colonel Domboya confirmed that the calendar will be determined by the National Council (CNT), which acts as the legislative body. But he refuses to allow the Economic Community of West African States or anyone else to dictate a deadline.

– In Burkina, the charter signed by Lieutenant-Colonel Damiba provides for a three-year transitional period before returning to the “constitutional order”.

ECOWAS response

She differs. The trajectories of the Economic Community of West African States are difficult to penetrate, and the factors dictating its behavior presumably range from the goodwill or ill will of its coup interlocutors, to lessons learned from 18 months of de facto experience, through domestic and international contexts. dynamics and interests of its members.

Partners such as France, the United States and the European Union have lined up behind the Economic Community of West African States.

Freezing of financial assets and travel ban for about 150 people associated with the military council since November 7, 2021, then closing the borders, financial and commercial ban except for basic necessities, and freezing the assets of the Mali state in member states’ banks since January 9: the Economic Community of West African States imposed severe penalties for the violation Finance Colonel for their initial commitment.

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– For Guinea, it has been suspended from all cases of the Economic Community of West African States, which also announced a freeze on the financial assets of members of the junta and their families. They are prohibited from traveling within the Economic Community of West African States.

– As for Burkina, the Economic Community of West African States has so far been satisfied with suspending it from its powers.