Guterres calls for civilian rule in 3 African countries ‘as soon as possible’

After his meeting with Senegalese President Macky Sall, who holds the rotating presidency of the African Union, António Guterres said: “We agreed on the importance of continuing the dialogue with the de facto authorities (in these ) three countries, with the aim of consolidating the return to constitutional order as soon as possible.”

West Africa has seen successive military coups in Mali (August 2020 and May 2021), Guinea (September 2021) and Burkina Faso (January 2022).

The Economic Community of West African States suspended the membership of the three countries in all its instances and, in January, imposed severe sanctions on Mali, after the authorities in Bamako refused to accelerate the re-establishment of civilian rule, while Conakry and Ouagadougou threaten the same fate if they do not set a “reasonable” deadline for the transitional period.

But the military leaders of Burkina and Guinea announced this week that they would not meet the demands of the West African group.

Similarly, the Malian Military Council continues to challenge the group after announcing on April 21 the launch of a transition “process” which would last “two years”, while the countries of West Africa are calling for elections within a maximum period of sixteen months.

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