The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has called for an urgent assembly to confront the mounting challenges gripping the region.
Central to the discussions are the escalating political crises in Senegal and the persistent tensions with military regimes in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
Set to convene in Abuja, Nigeria on Thursday, February 8, foreign ministers will engage in extensive deliberations regarding the prevailing security and political dilemmas plaguing West Africa. While the participation of the Senegalese minister remains uncertain, the primary objective is to devise effective strategies for addressing the multifaceted issues confronting the region.
ECOWAS has encountered criticism over its handling of recent developments notably the deferment of Senegal’s presidential election. Despite advocating for adherence to the original electoral schedule in Dakar, doubts persist regarding the organization’s ability to influence member states effectively.
The credibility of ECOWAS faces intense scrutiny, particularly following the coup in Niger last July. Calls for military intervention have dwindled leaving former President Mohamed Bazoum detained without reinstatement, thereby heightening apprehensions about the organization’s capacity to tackle political upheavals.
The postponement of Senegal’s election exacerbates the crisis, exposing perceived limitations within ECOWAS. Djidenou Steve Kpoton, an independent political consultant from Benin, underscores ECOWAS’s apparent struggles to navigate the evolving landscape, highlighting the formidable obstacles ahead for the regional body.