Chairman Political Affairs left, chairman ECOWAS right
February 3, 2022

In the wake of military coups becoming the order of the day within the West African sub region and as to whether with an establishment of an ECOWAS standing army in place, they can move in to overturn the coup?

Chairman of the Community Parliament’s Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Edwin Melvin Snowe Junior said it would be difficult to have an ECOWAS standing army to help overturn coups de’ tats in the sub-region.

Responding to suggestions that if the ECOWAS bloc has had a standing army, it would have helped to avert or overturn the recent coups in the sub-region, he said such an arrangement has its own challenges.

According to him should there be a standing army and the commander is coming from Burkina Faso and there is a coup in that country, what happens? Besides, every country has its own sovereign military and security mechanism that has been put in place.

In an interview he pointed out that, gone are the days where you can talk about little  Gambia,  Liberia,  Sierra Leone and  Guinea Bissau,  where when there was conflict ECOWAS was able to dispatch an external army, put together ECOMOG,  that they were able to go there and restore constitutional rule.

Mr. Edwin Snowe further noted that in a similar situation in Ghana, Nigeria and Guinea at, “what stage are we going in there and commit the life of our soldiers to go and put their boots on the ground, go and restore peace?”

And added that it is different, as one of the strongest army we have in the region conventional army comes from Guinea, so if you are to go in there and say you want to fight in Guinea, “we already have troops in Mali trying to fight insurgencies, you know how it has been difficult for us in Mali even with foreign troops?”

He said the foreign troops even with far more sophistication there are challenges, and if one is going to have external army, with what the sub-region is going through there would be difficulties.

In the case of the Burkina Faso coup, ECOWAS dispatch a team of army chief of staffs to fly in there and ascertain what is happening in there and engage the military.

 “I believe it is about hard time we have a symposium or talks with the military and let us discuss the issues, when they begin to taste power, we remember the days of Jerry John Rawlings, Sani Abacha, Samuel Gbaydee Doe and Yahya Jammeh. Gone are those days in our region, those are the days that we are beginning to revisit collectively”.

Leader of the Liberian delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament noted that everything should be done to ensure that the West African sub-region does return to full democratic rule, “that is what we envisage not only for our generation but the unborn generations”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/