Lifting of sanctions on Niger, B’Faso, Mali shows ECOWAS as toothless bull dog – Obono-Obla

Lifting of sanctions on Niger, B’Faso, Mali shows ECOWAS as toothless bull dog – Obono-Obla

Former presidential aide Chief Okoi Obono-Obla has faulted the leadership of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, for lifting sanctions against Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso who exited the economic bloc weeks ago following military takeovers of their elected governments.

He said their decision has presented the regional body as a toothless bulldog that can only bark but not bite.


The sanctions were lifted at the end of the extraordinary session of the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS on Saturday in Abuja. President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Touray, said the decision to lift sanctions was based on the need to maintain regional unity and security.


In a statement released in Calabar, Obono-Obla, a lawyer and social activist, said the lifting of the sanctions and suspension is bad for the principle of international law as enshrined in the ECOWAS Treaty and Protocol 1991.

The protocol states that military takeover or unconstitutional takeover of democratically elected civilian governments in the West Africa sub-region would not be acceptable, unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.


“It is a sad commentary and has sent a positive signal to military adventurists in the West Africa sub-region that they can overthrow constitutionally elected governments and nothing would happen.

“It is a danger to democracy in the sub-region and taking it to thirty years when military dictatorship and adventurism was the vogue in the region. It is extremely saddened that ECOWAS would even contemplate giving these military adventurists such a leeway,” Obono-Obla said.

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