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1. Following the events of 16 and 17 September 2015 relating to the disruption of the transition process in Burkina Faso, the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) metin an extraordinary session in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria on 22 September 2015, under the chairmanship of His Excellency Mr Macky Sall,President of the Republic of Senegal and current Chairman of the Authority.
2. The following Heads of State and Government or their duly mandated representatives were present at the Session:
– H. E. Thomas Boni YAYI, President of Republic of Benin
– H.E. Alassane OUATTARA, President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire
– H. E. John Dramani MAHAMA, President of the Republic of Ghana
– H. E. Mahamadou ISSOUFOU, President of the Republic of Niger
– H. E. Muhammadu BUHARI, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
– H. E. Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal
– H. E. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Togolese Republic
– H. E. Mohammed Saïd FOFANA, Prime Minister, Head of Government of the Republic of Guinea
– H. E. Modibo KEITA, Prime Minister, Head of Government of the Republic of Mali
– H. E. Firmin N’DO, Ambassador of Burkina Faso to Nigeria
– H. E. Al-Hassan CONTEH, Ambassador of the Republic of Liberia to Nigeria
– H. E. Major General Alfred Claude NELSON-WILLIAMS, Ambassador of the Republic of Sierra Leone to Nigeria.

3. The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo and the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for West Africa, Dr Mohammed Ibn CHAMBAS also participated in the Session.
4. The Heads of State and Government took note of the Memorandum of the President of the ECOWAS Commission on the situation in Burkina Faso. They also noted the conclusions arising from the mediation efforts undertaken from 18 to 20 September 2015 in Ouagadougou by their Excellencies Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and Thomas Boni Yayi, President of the Republic of Benin, in order to find a solution to the crisis.
5. Authority commends the purposeful mediation efforts deployed by H. E. Macky Sall, ECOWAS Chairman and President of the Republic of Senegal and H. E.Thomas Boni Yayi President of the Republic of Benin and ECOWAS-appointed Facilitator.
6. Authority extends to the two Heads of State its deep appreciation for the leadership role and determination with which they were able to arrive at viabl proposals on ending the crisis. The Authority expresses its satisfaction at the consultations they held and the proposals which were subsequently made.
7. Authority strongly condemns once again, the attack against the transition, carried out by members of the presidential guard (RSP) on 17 September 2015. It welcomes the unconditional release of all persons detained as a result of these events.
8. Authority reaffirms its commitment to the principles contained in the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and the legal instruments of the African Union.
9. Authority reiterates its full support for the continuation of the civilian transition in Burkina Faso. To this end, the Authority enshrines the decision to immediately reinstate the transition institutions and H.E Michel Kafando as Transition President and President of the Faso.
10. Summit decides to dispatch to Ouagadougou on 23 September 2015, a High Committee of Heads of State and Government comprising Benin, Ghana, Niger,
Nigeria and Togo, under the chairmanship of the Chairman of the Authority. The Committee will ensure the reinstatement of the Transition President H. E. Michel
Kafando and convey the solidarity of ECOWAS to the Burkinabe people, thereby contributing to defusing the prevailing tension and initiating the indispensable and
inclusive national dialogue. Authority decides to include in this High Level mission, the Chiefs of Defence Staff of the aforementioned Member States, in order to
facilitate constructive dialogue among the different components of the defence and security forces.
11. Authority decides to confirm H. E. Thomas Boni Yayi as the ECOWASappointed Facilitator for Burkina Faso.
12. Summit demands that the RSP lay down their arms and other military forces refrain from using force, in order to prevent the loss of lives.
13. Summit demands that all the defence and security forces uphold the unity of the army and refrain, under penalty of sanctions, from any action that may lead to
a further deterioration of the situation and undermine peace. Summit also demands them to fully take on, in true republican spirit, their duty of maintaining order and
protecting lives and property across the national territory.
14. At this stage where dialogue is crucial for national unity and stability in Burkina Faso, the Heads of State and Government call for peace, open mindedness and a spirit of compromise. They urge all stakeholders to expedite action in creating the necessary conditions for national reconciliation.
15. In that respect, Authority invites the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government in liaison with the President of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria and the members of the High Committee, to initiate political dialogue among all stakeholders in order to reach consensus on all matters proposed by the ECOWAS Mediation.
16. Authority calls on all stakeholders to preserve peace and consider the higher interest of the nation in adopting their various positions and for the successful completion of the process.
17. Summit demands the immediate end to all acts of violence and other human right violations, particularly restrictions on freedom of movement and expression.
18. Authority invites the African Union and the International Community to forgo imposing sanctions on Burkina Faso.
19. Moreover, Authority invites ECOWAS, African Union and United Nations to continue, within the framework of the existing mechanisms particularly GISAT-BF, close collaboration in providing support and monitoring of the process.
20. Authority underscores the urgency in deploying military and human right observers from ECOWAS to Burkina Faso, to monitor the respect for human rights. It invites the ECOWAS Commission, the African Union and the United Nations to take necessary measures in that regard.
21. Summit observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the incidents. The Heads of State and Government express their deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wish all the wounded a speedy recovery.
22. Authority urges the Burkinabe authorities to establish a compensation fund for the victims and encourages all partners of Burkina Faso and ECOWAS to make contributions to the fund.
23. Summit reiterates its confidence in the Chairman of ECOWAS and the Facilitator and stresses ECOWAS’ role and responsibility in conflict prevention, management and resolution in West Africa. It also emphasises respect for the principle of subsidiarity which governs relations between the African Union and regional economic communities.
24. The Heads of State and Government express their sincere gratitude to H. E. Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, theGovernment and people of Nigeria for the warm hospitality extended to themduring their stay in Abuja and for the excellent facilities placed at their disposal toensure the success of the Extraordinary Summit.









President Muhammadu Buhari, our host,

My dear Colleagues,

Honourable Ministers,

The President of the ECOWAS Commission,


The Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


After our Extraordinary Summit on 13 September in Dakar, here we are again, meeting to deliberate on an emergency situation facing our sub region.

I would like to thank our brother Muhammadu Buhari for his kindness in receiving us under such short notice. Thank you, too, dear colleagues, for leaving your busy schedules to be here.

As we are all aware, on 17 September, members of the Presidential Guard (RSP) disrupted the transition process in Burkina Faso, ousting President Michel Kafando, the Prime Minister and Members of Government.

From 18 September, I, along with our colleague Thomas Boni Yayi, went to Ouagadougou to inquire into the situation, engage in consultations with all the stakeholders, and help find a way to end the crisis.

The President of the Commission, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas were already in the country to meet with the International Follow-up and Support Group for the Transition in Burkina Faso.

Together, we met the political class and the other stakeholders, including the civil society.

President Boni Yayi and I met extensively with President Kafando in his residence, and also with General Diendéré.

I was able to personally meet President Kafando to inquire as to the conditions of his detention, listen to his analysis of the situation, his concerns and opinions and to find out if he was willing to continue as President of the Transition, which he agreed to. We were able to discuss in detail on all the points that could help bring about a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

After the departure of President Boni, I, along with President Kadre and Mr. Chambas, visited the Palais de Kossyam on Sunday, to meet with General Diendéré and representatives of the RSP.

This meeting had more to do with informing than negotiating.

I explained clearly to all, the extreme gravity of what they had done; the damaging consequences on the country, and the serious risks that will result thereof, firmly stressing ECOWAS’ strong opposition to any forceful take-over of power, and demanding that they hand back the reins of government unconditionally to the transition authorities.

I reminded them of the fact that in any normal democracy, the military is under obligation to submit to the civil authority; and that the RSP has no right to dictate conditions to the country, interfering in the political scene.

This, my dear colleagues is how things stand in Burkina Faso. Our role is to put an end to the escalation of things in order to prevent the country from descending into violence. Deaths and injuries have been recorded; property plundered. Whole families and their property are being targeted for their affiliation to this or that camp. Some, fearing for their life, left surreptitiously. On all sides, there are die-hard extremists.

As a proof, on 20 September, within the confines of my hotel, I saw, with my own eyes, civilians beating up other civilians.

Given the circumstance, I must express, dear colleagues, my grave concern. I solemnly warn our Summit on the gravity of the situation in Burkina Faso, even though our sub region has come under severe attack from other sources of instability.

It is expedient that we act while there is still time, to avoid an impasse and utter chaos.

I present to you, for your consideration today, the draft Political Agreement for a way out of the crisis which I had presented to all the stakeholders last Sunday.

This draft document takes due account of the decision made by the African Union, in line with its legal texts, to condemn the coup d’Etat, suspend Burkina Faso from the African Union governing bodies with immediate effect, and demand the release of authorities detained and the reinstatement of the transition organs, under penalty of sanctions against the coup organisers.

The draft document also draws from the seven convergence points proposed by the mediators of the National Reconciliation Commission, made up of Archbishop Paul Ouédraogo, the former President Jean-Baptiste Ouédraogo, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence and the Chief of Defence Staff.

We have also taken into account opinions and concerns raised by President Kafando and all the other lead actors; in a manner that includes all positions, and proposes a solution that is sustainable on the whole over and beyond the situation caused by the coup d’Etat.

The document before you today mainly includes the following salient points:

Firstly, there is the non-negotiable demand for the release of all the authorities detained the re-establishment of the transition regime and reinstating of President Kafando.

I recall that it was ECOWAS that helped set up the consensual transition regime after the civil revolt of October 2014, and consequently made it possible to waive off the application of sanctions on the country by the African Union and our partners. We are therefore unable to accept the disruption of a process that we authorized.

Also, the withdrawal of the military from government for the remaining period of the transition seems crucial, because the army, like the political class and civil society organisations, is strongly divided. It is needful to avoid, at all costs, a confrontation even within the Burkinabe army.

The draft Agreement, also calls for an open, inclusive, free and transparent electoral process. These are universal principles of democracy, resulting in the sincerity and credibility of any democratic election. The process would otherwise leave room for post election petitions.

Furthermore, we had hoped to take into account particularly delicate matters that require a long term process towards stabilizing the country. 

Hence the proposed reform of the defence and security forces, including the Presidential Guard. From the start of the transition regime, we had wondered whether the regime could handle the resolution of such a controversial matter that has remained unresolved to date. For this reason, at the start of the facilitation mission that was entrusted to me following the people’s revolt of October 2014, and owing to concerns for the stability of the transition regime, I had suggested that this sensitive dossier should be left to the future elected President to resolve; because he would be vested with the rightful authority;.

Dear colleagues,

All considerations made, what remains is the crucial issue of national reconciliation, without which co-habitation would remain impossible within one indivisible Nation.

One can understand and accept the frustrations and the rancour.

But whenever we are consigned to building a common destiny, then pardon and reconciliation becomes humanly needful in order to give credence to the common will for a unified community.

That is the goal of the proposal for amnesty contained in the draft Agreement. We are hardly encouraging impunity, rather an effort to appease hearts and foster national unity, while paving the way for a sustainable peace endeavour.

We are of the opinion that where others have trod and have succeeded, including the defeat of the odious apartheid regime, the Burkinabe people possessing the same largeness of heart and spirit to go the extra mile, can also succeed and overcome at this critical phase in its history.

This is the basis of the amnesty proposal.

In the same vein, I recommend that for the sake of human solidarity, the Organisation should give a sum of one million dollars to compensate families of those who died or were injured in events that followed the coup d’Etat of 17 September.

On behalf of you all, I express my condolence and sympathy to families plunged into mourning, and our wishes for the quick recovery of the injured.

I once again solemnly appeal to the entire political class, civil authorities, military and to all stakeholders in Burkina Faso, the Burkinabe people in their entirety, to spare this country we love from the misfortune of a conflict.

If the country were to descend into violence, our conversation would shift from respecting election deadlines, conducting polls, counting voting ballots; to weapons, the number of dead and injured persons. This would be a distressing outlook for the country, our sub-region and our continent.

So, we call on those stirring trouble and chaos to desist, and for everyone to give careful consideration to the outcome of their actions.

I thank you for your kind attention and declare open the proceedings of our Summit.



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