Ramaphosa commends West Africa’s bloc for anti-coup drive

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President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday praised the West Africa’s regional bloc Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) for developing what he called a “decisive” anti-coup strategy.

West Africa has seen a resurgence of coups in recent months, and the 15-nation Ecowas has deployed “stabilising” forces in Guinea-Bissau.

After talks with visiting Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo, Ramaphosa said Africa should emulate Ecowas.

The continent has “a lot to learn in the way that Ecowas is dealing with these matters much as it is experiencing a spate of these coups”.

“The determination and the decisiveness of the leadership in Ecowas is something that stands out as a very good example for the rest of the continent”.

Ecowas has deployed a “stabilising support force” in Guinea-Bissau following last February’s reported coup bid claimed 11 lives.

The force includes troops from Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Senegal, according to Guinea-Bissau’s leader.

“Ecowas has found a solution. In Guinea-Bissau I have troops from Ecowas. We are going to do the same in other countries,” Embalo told reporters.

Guinea-Bissau, a Portuguese-speaking coastal state of around two million people south of Senegal, had seen four military coups since 1974, most recently in 2012.