West African leaders on Saturday did not agree on what action to take against military junta in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea, insiders said at the meeting, postponing a decision for a month.
He decided to wait until the next ECOWAS summit on 3 July, a senior source in the Ghanian presidency told AFP, asking to remain anonymous.
Another source said the leaders could not agree “especially on Mali”.
The summit in Ghana’s capital, Accra, was billed as a forum to agree whether to reduce or increase sanctions against the three junta-ruled nations facing jihadist insurgency.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met in a bid to retaliation on Mali’s ruling to maintain, lighten or lift plans in January to remain in power for the next five years by its military regime. after the announcement.
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo opened the summit, which was attended by the heads of state of most 15 member states, but without any representatives from Mali, Burkina Faso or Guinea in the audience.
“This current summit will re-examine and assess the situation in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso in the light of recent developments in the region and in the global context,” he said.
“Our aim has always been to find ways to help these countries return to the constitutional order.”
Guinea, Burkina Faso and Mali are currently suspended from ECOWAS bodies.
While Mali has already been slapped with sanctions, the other two countries risk further punitive measures from the bloc after vowing to remain in power for another three years in their respective capitals .
West Africa has seen a succession of military coups in less than two years – two in Bamako, followed by Conakry in September 2021 and Ouagadougou in January.
ECOWAS, eager to prevent further escalation of political instability, has held summits and tried to pressure the junta to shorten its so-called transition period before returning to civilian rule.
But the strong Colonel Asimi Goita in Mali, Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya in Guinea and Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba in Burkina Faso, all resisted that pressure and have since been sworn in as president.
They call for the gravity of domestic crises – which range from jihadist insurgency to social problems – and claim they need time to rebuild their states and hold elections.
A UN report published last week said West African sanctions have contributed to worsening living conditions, especially for the poor.
One of the world’s most unstable and poor countries, Mali is battling a decades-old jihadist insurgency that began with a regional insurgency and then spread to Niger and Burkina Faso.
ECOWAS closed borders and suspended trade and financial exchanges except as required.
In Guinea, the military overthrew President Alpha Condé in September and vowed to return to civilian rule in three years.
Burkina Faso’s government was overthrown in January, when disgruntled colonels ousted President Roch Marc Christian Cabore.