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South African President Praises ECOWAS Action Against Coups

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks during a televised speech in Pretoria, South Africa. /Xinhua

 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has praised the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for its “decisive” anti-coup strategy after the arrival of a vanguard stabilisation force in Bissau.

Ramaphosa said this on Thursday after a meeting with Umaro Sissoco Embalo, president of Guinea-Bissau.

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Since August 2020, the military has seized power in three West African countries, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali, through coups. All three countries have been suspended from ECOWAS bodies.

“The determination and capacity to decide on the part of the governing bodies of ECOWAS is remarkable and is a very good example for the rest of the continent,” Ramaphosa added at a joint press conference with his Guinea-Bissau counterpart.

Bissau in February witnessed what President Umaro Cissoco Embalo described as a failed coup attempt that left 11 people dead.

Three days later, ECOWAS announced the creation of a support force to stabilise the country.

“ECOWAS has found a solution. In Guinea-Bissau, I have ECOWAS troops. We will do the same in other countries,” Embalo said alongside the South African president.

Asked by AFP in Bissau, Lieutenant Usmane Kuyate, spokesman for the Guinea-Bissau army, confirmed the arrival of a vanguard of the ECOWAS force.

Guinea-Bissau has since its independence from Portugal in 1974, it has seen a string of coups, both military and non-military, the last of which was successful in 2012.

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Written by PH

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