KIGALI, Rwanda/ ACCRA, Ghana

West African leaders are meeting on Thursday at a summit expected to address the political situation in Burkina Faso and coups in the region.

The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are meeting in the Ghanaian capital Accra, a week after they held a virtual summit following the Jan. 24 coup in Burkina Faso.

Following the virtual summit, the leaders on Saturday sent a high-level mission of the ECOWAS committee of chiefs of defense staff to Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, to hold consultations with military leaders.

This was followed on Monday by a joint ministerial mission led by the chairperson of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers and Ghana’s Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey to assess the political situation in the country.

Thursday’s emergency talks will assess the outcome of two missions to Burkina Faso.

Opening the summit, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Ghana’s president and chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, described coups in the region as cancer that needs a sustainable solution.

“Your presence here is a strong indication of your willingness to find a sustainable solution to the resurgence of cancer in our region. Let us address this dangerous trend collectively and decisively before it devastates the whole region,” he said.

Burkina Faso became the third member of the 15-nation ECOWAS bloc to be overtaken by the military in less than two years after Mali and Guinea.

“The resurgence of coup d’etats in our region is a matter of grave concern. This revolution challenges the democratic way of life we have chosen. We need to stand firm to protect democracy and freedom in our region,” Akufo-Addo added.

Like Mali and Guinea, ECOWAS suspended Burkina Faso from its governing bodies after the military overthrew President Roch Kabore.

ECOWAS has already imposed sanctions on Mali and Guinea for delaying to restore constitutional order.

The junta in Burkina Faso has pledged to re-establish constitutional order within a “reasonable time.”

Kabore was detained and later resigned following the coup.

ECOWAS said the military had obtained his resignation under duress, and demanded his immediate release.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.