UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged military juntas in Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali to return power to civilian rule as soon as possible. He also urged the world to follow through on “climate emergency” promises.
Guterres said that after meeting Senegalese President Macky Sall in Dakar on Sunday, they agreed on the importance of continuing to talk to the de facto authorities in all three countries in order to achieve a swift return to “constitutional order.”
All three countries, which are fighting jihadist insurgencies in the Sahel region, have recently experienced military coups: Mali in August 2020 and May 2021, Guinea in September 2021, and Burkina Faso in January 2022.
Sall is the current chair of the West African bloc ECOWAS, which has suspended membership in all three countries.
Guinea’s junta leader, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, announced a 39-month transition period to civilian rule over the weekend. Read more.
On Sunday, opposition leaders in Guinea slammed the announcement, including both the party of ousted president Alpha Condé and groups that had opposed him.
Mali’s regime is also continuing to defy ECOWAS pressure. On April 21, it announced the start of a two-year transition “process” before elections.
ECOWAS had called for elections within the next 16 months at the most.
Turning to the issue of global warming, Guterres said “the climate emergency… increases the security risk” on the continent.
Acccording to Guterres, African countries are “often the first victims” of global warming for which they are “not responsible”.
Developed countries had pledged to help southern hemisphere countries to finance their “transition towards renewable energies and green jobs” he noted.
“It’s time to take action. It’s time to keep the promise of $100 billion dollars a year made in Paris,” he said, referring to national pledges under the 2015 Paris Agreement aimed at capping global warming below 2°Celsius.