President Akufo-Addo, and his colleague Heads of State of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), are meeting in Accra to deliberate on the political situation in Guinea and Mali and to find the way forward for the two troubled West African States.
President Akufo-Addo in his opening statement as chairperson of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) at the opening ceremony of the Extraordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government on the political situation in the Republics of Guinea and Mali, held today the 7th of November 2021, at the Kempinski hotel gold coast city, said ECOWAS leaders will deliberate on two reports to be laid before the leaders at their close door session.
According to President Akufo-Addo, a report on his visit to Guinea on the 17th of September 2021 and the same to Mali on the 17th of October 2021, will be given consideration at the ECOWAS leaders meeting.
“Since these visits, the military governments of both Mali and Guinea have sent delegations to meet with me here in Accra to outline their plans for the future. Those will be the subject of our closed-door meeting” President Akufo-Addo said.
Tragic Events in West Africa
President Akufo-Addo, on behalf of ECOWAS also expressed the solidarity and sympathies of the Authority with Niger and Sierra Leone, where two target events that occurred claimed over one hundred lives. The President led ECOWAS leaders to observe a minute silence in memory of the victims and the population of the two countries.
“On Tuesday, 2nd November, more than 68 Nigerian civilians were killed in an attack by jihadist groups in Banibangou near the Malian border. The information was confirmed on November the 4th by the government of Niger” President Akufo-Addo said.
“On Saturday, November the 6th, about a hundred Serra Leoneans perished after an oil tanker collided with a lorry in Freetown. Some hundred people are in the hospital after sustaining injuries during the explosion. We express our deep regrets and condolences on these sad incidents” ECOWAS chair President Akufo-Addo added.
On Guinea Situation
In a communique issued on the 16th of September 2021 after their last meeting, ECOWAS leaders decided to uphold the suspension of Guinea from all ECOWAS governing bodies until the restoration of constitutional order and the conduct of presidential and legislative elections within six (6) months in order to restore constitutional rule in the Republic of Guinea.
ECOWAS leaders also decided to impose sanctions, in accordance with extant ECOWAS Protocols, of travel bans on the members of the CNRD and their family members and to freeze their financial assets, and ensure that no member of the CNRD is allowed to contest in the future presidential election.
They further called on the African Union, the European Union, the United Nations, and other multilateral and bilateral partners to support the implementation of the sanctions, to endorse the decisions and support the restoration of constitutional rule in the Republic of Guinea.
On Transition in Mali
On the political transition in the Republic of Mali, the Authority in their communique indicated that they remain deeply concerned about the slow pace of preparations for the elections scheduled for late February 2022 in the Republic of Mali.
The communique reiterated the demands of ECOWAS for strict adherence to the transition timetable leading to the effective conduct of elections within the nonnegotiable deadline of February 2022.
To this end, the Authority called on the transitional authorities to submit, by the end of October 2021 at the latest, the timetable, for setting out the essential steps to be taken for the February 2022 elections. It insists on the implementation of only the necessary reforms for the conduct of elections on the agreed date.
The Authority also decided to impose targeted sanctions against persons or groups of persons whose actions have a negative impact on the transition timetable, as decided by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government. These sanctions would include a travel ban on such persons and their family members and the freezing of their financial assets.
The Heads of State instructed the President of the ECOWAS Commission to compile and submit a list of such persons and groups of persons. ECOWAS further condemns the continued arrest and detention of political leaders and opponents by the transitional authorities.
Regarding security, the Authority strongly condemned the decision of the transitional authorities to hire private security companies in Mali and indicated that it is greatly concerned about its consequences on the deterioration of the security situation in Mali and the region as a whole.
On the Strengthening of Democracy, the communique noted that in light of recent developments in the region, the Authority reaffirms that the consolidation of democracy and good governance is crucial for the
development, peace, and stability of the region.
Consequently, the Authority instructs the President of the Commission to initiate the process of reviewing the 2001 Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance in order to ensure democracy, peace, and stability in our region.