ECOWAS considers suspension of countries that disregard regional court decision

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has said it is considering imposing sanctions, including the suspension of member countries that flout rulings of the Community Court of Justice.

This decision, according to the regional body, stems from the fact that the contempt for the decision of the community court was contrary to the precepts of “community texts” and which also amounts to a disruption of democratic processes.

A court judge, Judge Dupe Atoki told the Nigeria News Agency (NAN) on Thursday in Lomé, Republic of Togo, that the need for sanctions had become necessary given the impunity of the disobedience of States.

Atoke, who moderated a session on sanctions for dissenting member states at the International Conference to mark the court’s 20th anniversary, said the actions of some member states were likely to undermine the court’s authority.

She noted that although the penalty provision for violation of the court order is still vague, the fact that it is in itself a violation of community texts makes the sanctions on the texts applicable.

“The sanctions are vague and this is where the problem is because the protocol has not really come to spell out what sanctions can be imposed on member states that do not respect court rulings.

“But there is a general provision providing for sanctions against members who do not fulfill their obligations as indicated in community texts.

“To this end, we believe that the implementation of the Court’s judgment fits into this context.

“The first obligation of member states is to respect and promote human rights.

“Thus, when the tribunal was set up to promote this right, it follows that if you do not comply with the decision of the tribunal, you have failed in your obligation to respect the provisions of community texts and there is sanctions to this effect. ,” she said.

Atoki further explained that among the obligations of member states was also respect for the democratic process.

“That is why you see that any attempt to derail the democratic process is sanctioned.

“This led to the situation in Mali and Guinea. This is one of the obligations listed with the protection of human rights.

“Thus, we can, on our own initiative, deduce that the non-execution of the court’s decision is also a violation of the respect of the obligation of the texts which lead to sanctions which can go as far as suspension”, he said. she declared.

ECOWAS decides to maintain sanctions against Mali and Guinea

Elna M. Lemons