President of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stressed that coup d’etats cannot be durable solutions to the socio-political, economic and security challenges in Africa.
He has, therefore, charged leaders on the continent to unite in a resolve that will send that message clearly to coup plotters.
Speaking at the opening of a forum on coups in Africa on Wednesday, March 15, President Akufo-Addo, who doubles as Chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said African leaders take “bold actions”, among others, in dealing with the menace.
“Our unity and resolve should send a clear message to coup plotters that coups have never been and will never be durable solutions to Africa’s political and economic and security challenges.
“Statements condemning coups alone without corresponding action will however achieve little or nothing as witnessed in recent times.
“This problem requires collective agreements, effective deterrence, bold action and equally important adequate preventative measures.”
He condemned some of the excuses adduced by leaders to stay in power for long, a situation that attracts subversion of power.
He called for stiff punishment for such leaders.
“The reality is these sanctions have not been applied uniformly. While we are quick to sanction military coup leaders, civilians who achieve similar ends via the manipulation of constitutions to remain in power, for example, go without sanctions although their actions are clearly prohibited in our legal instrument.
“This means that the existing frame work needs to be strengthened to capture such infractions.”
He cited how Ghana has become a safe haven, to at least host the forum, as a result of the peace nurtured not only by the country’s leaders but its people.
He said it did not come easily but took a while.
“The continent’s democratic progress is threatened by such events,” he summed up the effect of coups in Africa.
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