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Forum launches W/Africa anti-coup policy

The Regional Citizen’s Dialogue Programme (RCDP) formally launched in Abuja has called for proactive measures to prevent and respond to unconstitutional changes of government (UCG)…

The Regional Citizen’s Dialogue Programme (RCDP) formally launched in Abuja has called for proactive measures to prevent and respond to unconstitutional changes of government (UCG) in West Africa.

The RCDP programme lead team is comprised of the consortium partners led by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Nigeria; the Regional Centre for Governance and Security Policy Initiative (CGSPI), Sierra-Leone; the Centre for Good Leadership and Journalism (DCLJ), Abuja Nigeria; and the International Dialogue Centre, KAICIID, based in Lisbon, Portugal.

They would be supported by other regional and international actors including the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

At the end of the two-day meeting, the programme document, the Terms of Reference (ToRs) for the Steering Committee, and a one-year project implementation action plan for preventing and responding to incidences of UCG in the West Africa/ECOWAS region were adopted with minor reviews.

The report was jointly presented by Prof Dung Pam Sha, Director of Research, NIPSS; Dr Jonathan Sandy, Executive Director, CGSPI; Agustin Numez-Vicandi, Senior Programme Manager, Africa spokesperson, KAICIID; and Prof Mumzali Jibril of Dantiye Centre for Good Leadership and Journalism.

They said the initiative was due to the recent surge in Unconstitutional Changes of Government (UCGs) in the ECOWAS which has posed significant threats to the political stability and democratic progress in the region.

“This troubling trend, evidenced by military takeovers and the overthrow of democratically-elected governments has cast a shadow over the achievements in democratisation, including the development of political and security institutions, electoral processes, and the safeguarding of freedoms and democratic rights amongst others.

“Furthermore, this trend jeopardises regional and global efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism in sub-regions like the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin,” they said.

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