In a interview with FRANCE 24 at the EU-African Union summit in Brussels, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo said the French-led troop withdrawal from Mali required “new arrangements” in the regional fight against terrorism. Akufo-Addo, who is also the current chairman of West African bloc ECOWAS, demanded the departure of “foreign mercenaries” from the region and explained that negotiations are underway with the Malian junta on an election timetable. He called the junta’s proposal of a four-year transition “clearly unacceptable” and said a 12-month transition period would be “an acceptable framework”, while stressing that this was not official ECOWAS position.
Asked about Burkina Faso, which experienced a coup last month, the Ghanian president expressed optimism about a swift transition to civilian rule, noting that the junta had “moved very quickly” to engage in consultations.
He also warned the coup leaders in Guinea, which saw a military takeover last September, that new ECOWAS sanctions could be forthcoming if they do not provide a timetable for a transition “as soon as possible”.
Finally, Akufo-Addo insisted that military coups in West Africa are unacceptable, saying “we do not want this contagion to spread”. He added that the issue of third presidential terms was also “a matter of concern” for the region.
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