An extraordinary meeting of the ECOWAS Commission has ended in Accra with heads of states giving extended timelines to the coup countries of Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea to initiate processes towards the return to democratic and constitutional rule.
According to the Commission, states that may fail to comply with the new timelines will risk the enforcement of economic and financial sanctions.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, said these decisions have been taken with the objective to help those countries to restore constitutional order because that will be required for them to deal with the key issues that they are facing including security, particularly in Mali and Burkina Faso.
For the humanitarian issues, the heads of states decided that they were willing to provide for the extension of the transition in Mali in the range of 12 to 16 months in addition to the 18 months that was originally passed.
For Guinea, which had been asking for provision of timelines, the ECOWAS authority has given one month deadline for them to come up with a transition process towards the restoration of constitutional rule.
There was also a decision on the immediate release of Burkinabe president Roch Marc Christian Kabore, with a planned engagement with the coup makers on transition timelines.
The Commission says it will slap economic and financial sanctions on states beyond the set dates for negotiations on transition processes.