The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has condemned the military invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which has led to the loss of lives and destruction of property.
Several Ukrainian cities have fallen under Russian control, with the reported death toll exceeding 200 as Ukraine forces fight back.
A statement condemning Russia called for “both parties to stop the fight and use dialogue to solve their differences in the interest of peace in this region.”
ECOWAS urged parties to ensure the safety of the citizens of all its member states living in Ukraine.
It said it is following with great concern the military invasion.
What is happening in Ukraine?
Russian forces have launched a military assault on neighbouring Ukraine, crossing its borders and bombing military targets near big cities.
In a televised address, Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, reportedly ordered a “military operation” in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, but what’s been launched goes far further and amounts to a full-scale attack on the country.
Russian military vehicles were said to have breached the border in several places, in the north, south, and east, including from Belarus.
CCTV images issued by the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine reportedly show Russian military vehicles moving across the border from Crimea.
Why has Russia attacked Ukraine?
There have been hostilities between Russia and Ukraine after the former became a sovereign state after breaking away from the Soviet Union.
However, in 2021, the situation escalated after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his desire to US President Joe Biden to approve admission to join NATO.
Russian President Vladimir Putin believes Ukraine is a puppet of the West and allowing a partnership with NATO will give the West access to set up military bases closer to Russia, which could facilitate an attack on Moscow.
Russia has demanded that the West gives a legally binding guarantee that NATO will not hold any military activity in eastern Europe and Ukraine.
Russia further wants Ukraine to desist from any NATO membership.
The new tension between Russia and Ukraine, which also borders the European Union, has political and economic repercussions for the EU.
Consequently, the EU, most of who are NATO signatories, have joined the US in announcing sanctions against Russian entities.