By John Ikani
West African leaders have explained why they decided against the immediate imposition of fresh sanctions against the new military junta that seized power in Burkina Faso.
An ECOWAS delegation met this week with Burkina Faso coup leader Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba, who declared himself President and has not yet proposed a timeline for returning to constitutional order.
Speaking to newsmen after the ECOWAS Emergency Summit in the Ghanaian capital Accra on Thursday, President of ECOWAS Commission Jean Claude Kassi Brou said there was no need to impose sanctions on the Junta other than suspension of the country from the West African bloc.
According to him: “We have engaged them. And they have shown interest that they want to work with ECOWAS towards the restoration of constitutional order.
“Since they have shown the ability to work with ECOWAS, we can’t just impose the maximum sanctions,” he added.
However, ECOWAS leaders called on the military rulers to come up with a date for returning the country to democratic rule.
ECOWAS has already imposed sanctions on Mali and Guinea following last year’s military takeovers there.
They vowed to take similar action against the junta in Burkina Faso if they failed to release deposed leader Roch Marc Christian Kabore.
“If really they don’t release him, they will take sanctions,” Brou said.