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ECOWAS asks Burkina Faso junta for election date proposal

ACCRA, GHANA (AP) – West African regional leaders refrained on Thursday from imposing sanctions against the new military junta in Burkina Faso, instead calling on the new rulers propose a firm date for returning the country to democratic rule.

But the regional body known as ECOWAS will take further action if the junta continues to detain Burkina Faso’s deposed leader Roch Marc Christian Kabore, said ECOWAS Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.

“If really they don’t release him, they will take sanctions,” Brou said at the conclusion of a summit in Ghana’s capital where the spate of military power grabs and coup attempts throughout the region weighed heavily.

Three of the 15 countries in the bloc are currently suspended because of military coups: Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso. And then earlier this week, security forces quelled a coup attempt in Guinea-Bissau too.

“Let us address this dangerous trend collectively and decisively before it devastates the entire region,” said ECOWAS’ chairman, Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, adding that the 2020 Malian coup had had a “contagious influence on Guinea and Burkina Faso”.