The Economic community of West African States (ECOWAS) has placed a suspension order on Burkina Faso following a successful military coup.
Burkina Faso is the third member nation to be punished for a military takeover in the last 18 months.
ECOWAS made the announcement on Friday January 28, days after the soldiers forced the democratically elected President, Roch Marc Christian Kabore to resign.
The soldiers also went on state television to announce a military takeover of the country, which they said was under siege from armed groups.
The military rulers said Kabore failed to stem the violence that has killed thousands during his time in power.
A delegation of ECOWAS defence chiefs will travel to Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou on Saturday January 29, followed by a ministerial mission a few days later, the statement said. Heads of ECOWAS member states will reconvene for another summit in Ghana’s capital Accra on Feb. 3 to discuss the findings of the two delegations.
ECOWAS and its international allies have condemned the coup in Burkina Faso, which they fear could further destabilise a country beset by Islamist violence, but find themselves with limited leverage.
The West African leaders met virtually Thursday to discuss the Burkina Faso coup, and a delegation was expected to travel to the Burkinabe capital, Ouagadougou, in the coming days.
The current ECOWAS chairman and Ghanaian president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, described the recent spate of coups in West Africa as “a direct violation of our democratic tenets. “The rest of the world is looking up to us to be firm on this matter,” he said.
The ECOWAS leaders could still opt for sanction of Burkina Faso when members reconvene next week.