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Group says Niger coup, others constitute bad image for West Africa

ABUJA- The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has said that the recent coups in the Republic of Niger, Burkina-Faso and Mali are not good images for the West African region and its people.

Dr Chris Kwaja, the Country Director of USIP, said this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

Kwaja said that peace, security and stability should be the fundamental focus of every African nation and not unconstitutional change of government.

“Africa is at a cross road right now and the desire for peace, security and stability is one of the most fundamental of any average African and the international community is also placing these on the front burner of its policy directions.

“It takes governance to make peace, security and stability happen but across Africa today, we have seen cases of coup in Niger, BurkinaFaso, Mali, Guinnea and that on its own, is not a good image for the region, for West Africa and the people.

“It is not just about national security or regional security alone but also about human security in the context of uncertainty that citizens of West Africa are now afraid because we don’t know which country will be next,” he said.

Kwaja said it beholds on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as the regional body, to be alive to its responsibilities to ensure stability by understudying the quality of governance in its region.

According to him, ECOWAS body must self reflect on why are coups happening, it does not support coup, so why are they happening.

“ECOWAS should be able to ask are they products or consequences of bad government or governance or are they disenchantment or discontentment of citizens.

“When you look at some of the countries where this coup are happening, they take the face of copulism as if the citizens are happy with the emergence of the military.

“But no matter how good a military regime is, democracy is still the best way to go and which means we need to take a second look at the quality of governance, democracy and particularly in the context of elections, ” he said.

The country director said that military coup was not the only coup taking place in the region, adding that any attempt to alter constitutionally designed processes, including attempt to elongate tenure, was a coup.

He also said that attempts by leaders to undermine electoral processes for the emergence of leaders in a democracy system was also a civilian coup.

He advised African leaders to focus on good governance and the rule of law in order to attract peace, security and stability to the region.(NAN)

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