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Buhari Demands Weighty Sanctions For Coup Plotters In Africa




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President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, called for weighty sanctions for unconstitutional leadership changes in Africa.

In a statement by the presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, the president made this known during a roundtable discussion on Peace, Security and Governance at the ongoing 6th EU-AU Summit in Brussels, Belgium.

The President urged European leaders to partner with the African Union in promoting democracy and good governance to lend their weight to measures put in place to curb coup plotting in the continent.

President Buhari equally stressed the need to nip the root causes of extremism, conflicts and tensions in Africa at inception.

He said: “Africa has continued to witness different waves of violent extremism, community-based conflicts and inter-ethnic tensions, notably in rural areas. For many decades, our continent has been deprived of political stability and socio-economic development due to terrorism and violent extremism.

“More worrisome is the current state of democracy on the continent, which has become a great source of concern to many of us, with increasing cases of unconstitutional change of governments across the continent, particularly in West Africa. This is in addition to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The African Union has often responded to these challenges through its different structures, such as the African Peace and Security Architecture and the African Governance Architecture.

“Through enhanced collaboration with our development partners, especially the European Union, we can identify areas of cooperation for quick and substantive results.

“As leaders and policymakers, it is important for our partnership to place priority on tackling the root causes of conflicts in Africa, as well as taking measures in safeguarding peace and security, if we are to achieve the African Union Agenda 2063.

“We also call for stronger support from the European Union in the condemnation and imposition of weighty sanctions on countries that engage in unconstitutional change of governments, as well as manipulation of constitutions in favor of extension of term limits.”

The Nigerian leader added that it was imperative to ensure that election processes in Africa have outcomes that truly reflect the wishes of the electorate, as to go contrary to these is courting instability.

He added: “We have a responsibility to reduce conflicts that stem from lack of good governance, unaccountability, corruption and social exclusion.

“Free, fair, credible and transparent elections remain crucial elements in ensuring peace and security, and promoting constitutional order, democracy and inclusive governance on the continent.

“It is therefore imperative for our partnership to also focus on strengthening election processes in Africa and prevent interference to influence the process and outcomes of elections.”

President Buhari said the movement and operation of terrorists and violent extremist groups along the Sahel could better be addressed through an improved Continental Early Warning Mechanism.

He said: “I wish to underscore the need to convert our pledges on political cooperation in the area of peace, security and conflict prevention into concrete initiatives such as joint field missions, shared understanding and analysis on crisis situations, as well as joint early action and swift implementation of agreed positions.

“The movement and operation of terrorists and violent extremist groups along the Sahel could better be addressed through an improved Continental Early Warning Mechanism. Consequently, we believe there is a clear need to strengthen our cooperation on security with the European Union, particularly through improved intelligence sharing and acquisition of military equipment and hardware.

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“We invite the EU to upscale its support for the G5 Sahel and the Multinational Joint Taskforce in the Lake Chad Region as we strive to further degrade the Boko-Haram insurgents and their Islamic State in the West Africa Province counterparts. Africa also looks up to Europe for enhanced support in the area of combating Illicit financial flows and terrorism funding that aid the activities of terrorists and violent extremist groups.