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ECOWAS to monitor implementation of one-year transition in Burkina Faso


Ouagadougou – The Presidents of Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal on Wednesday in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso mediated in the Burkinabe crisis, with the stakeholders agreeing to a one-year transition programme.

Ghana’s President John Mahama told journalists after series of peace talks held in Ouagadougou that the three west African leaders would work towards the agreement’s faithful implementation.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had mandated Presidents Goodluck Jonathan, Mahama and Macky Sall of Senegal to resolve the crisis.

The regional body had asked the trio to resolve the political crisis in Burkina Faso following the ouster of former President Blaise Compaore.

In his remarks, after the meeting’s communique was read, Mahama said his team would brief the emergency ECOWAS summit in Accra, Ghana on the outcome of the Ouagadougou talks on Thursday.

He said the team would return to Ouagadougou immediately after the Accra summit to monitor implementation of the agreement as contained in the communique.

“I wish to assure you that the team will return immediately after the ECOWAS summit and join you here and work together with you, until we have achieved the steps that have been identified in the communique.

“As soon as those steps have been achieved, and I hope that will be in the shortest possible time, we will come back and join you here for the installation of a transitional government that will lead Burkina Faso for the next one year until elections are held and a substantive President and new National Assembly are installed.

“I can understand that the incident that occurred on Oct. 30 and the unfortunate loss of lives have been a very painful and unpleasant experience for many of us.

“But I wish to enjoin you to overcome any pain or unpleasantness that has occurred in order that we can embrace each other and move forward.’’

NAN reports that key in the agreement is the formation a civilian-led transitional government which will last for one year.

According to the communique read at the end of the talks, the parties also agreed to organise presidential and parliamentary elections by November 2015.

Mahama, who is the current Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, led the delegation which met with the military and the other political stakeholders.

Earlier, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Kadre Ouedraogo, had read the communique in French following the peace talks.

“At the end of these consultations, the Heads of State and Government took note of the opinion expressed by all the stakeholders and observed that all of them agreed on the need to:

“First, immediately lift the suspension of the Constitution for the Constitutional Council to declare a power vacancy and the next steps for establishing a transitional government;

“Second, urgently designate by consensus a suitably eminent civilian to lead the transition. Third, form a transitional government for a period of one year;

“Fourth, organise presidential and legislative elections by November 2015;

“Fifth, guarantee the security of all Burkinabes, including political party leaders, members of the defunct government and National Assembly and the protection of human rights;

“Sixth, initiate inclusive consultation among political party leaders, representatives of civil society organisations, religious and traditional leaders, as well as the military to work out the structure and composition of the transitional organs.”

The communiqué quoted Jonathan, Mahama and Sall as condoling the families of those who lost their lives and those whose property were destroyed during the demonstration in Ouagadougou on Oct 30.

The mediators thanked Burkinabe’s interim Head of State, Lt. Col. Isaac Zida, and the entire armed forces for demonstrating professionalism in maintaining security, law and order.

They urged all the stakeholders to embrace dialogue and “define a coherent and consensual framework for the transitional process’’.

NAN recalls that the Burkinabe crisis began with mass protests in Ouagadougou on Oct. 30, during which the country’s parliament building was razed.

The protests were triggered by plans by Compaore to amend the country’s Constitution to enable him to stand for election next year after 27 years in power.

Compaore had to resign on Oct. 31 and seek asylum in Cote D’Ivoire.

The military then dissolved the National Assembly and named Zida interim head of state on Nov. 1.

But political parties and civil society groups returned to the streets, demanding the installation of a civilian-led transitional government.(NAN)

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