Monrovia — The West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) - Liberia team, headed by Mannis Howard Barclay has vehemently condemned the military takeover in neighboring Guinea and called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to put more pressure on the coup leaders to return the country to democratic rule.
WACSOF- Liberia Team, in a statement issued by its Coordinator, Mannis Howard Barclay lauded its parent body WACSOF- Regional and ECOWAS for swiftly denouncing the coup in Guinea, but called on the regional bloc to go the extra mile in demanding the soldiers to return to the barrack immediately.
"WACSOF - Liberia is calling on the Military, headed by Col. Mamady Doumbouya and his men to return the country to civil and democratic leadership," the group urged.
"WACSOF - Liberia congratulates ECOWAS and WACSOF -Regional for their initial intervention in the conflict; and we call on ECOWAS to pressurize the military to return Guinea to a democratic rule as soon as possible, to restore peace and stability in the sub-region, as per the mandate of ECOWAS."
The group's statement followed a thread of condemnations from the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government and its parent organization, WACSOF- Regional which is based in Abuja, Nigeria, and other heads of states in the region, including President George Weah.
In an extraordinary session in the aftermath of the coup, the ECOWAS Head of State announced the suspension of Guinea from the regional bloc and called for the immediate return to constitutional order and demands that the Defense and Security Forces maintain a constitutional posture.
Also during the meeting held on September 8, 2021 under the chairmanship Ghanaian President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Authority expressed deep concern over the political developments in the Republic of Guinea following the coup d'état of September 5, 2021 and their consequences for regional peace and stability.
It reaffirmed its 'unreserved' opposition to any political change by unconstitutional means and condemns, in the strongest terms, the coup.
The Authority also called for respect for the physical safety of the ousted President, Professor Alpha Condé, and his immediate and unconditional release, as well as that of all arrested persons; adding that "It holds the coup plotters, under the aegis of the National Committee for Reconciliation and Development (CNRD), individually and collectively responsible for the physical safety of President Alpha Condé and the arrested persons."
The regional CSO platform, WACSOF- Regional, in a statement, condemned military coups in Africa and particularly in West Africa. Reciting the provisions of Article 1 (e) of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance which stipulates that "The armed forces must be apolitical and must be under the command of a legally constituted political authority; no serving member of the armed forces may seek to run for elective political," the CSO regional platform called for a very fast return to civilian governance in strict compliance with the constitution of the Republic of Guinea as well as all applicable laws.
On September 5, Col Mamady Doumbouya, who heads the army's special forces unit announced the army has seized power in a coup, arrested the president, and promised to change the political makeup of the West African country. He has since set up a transition government and promised to return the country to a civilian rule, but did not say when.
The West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), created by the support of ECOWAS in 2003, is the umbrella network of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from the 15 member states of ECOWAS. WACSOF is a Civil Society membership organization, which is a partner and advisor to
ECOWAS and many institutions.
WACSOF envisions a well-organized and vibrant civil society in West Africa, which contributes to the attainment of a stable and prosperous West African region characterized by democracy; human rights; good governance; the rule of law; constitutionalism; economic prosperity; and social justice".
It's ultimate aim is to facilitate the building of dense associational networks, promotion of solidarity, trust and reciprocity among CSOs such that they can better enhance the efforts of the ECOWAS towards fostering regional integration and development in West Africa.