President Bio condemns military takeovers at ECOWAS meeting as crisis deepens in Mali

Mamos Media

Yesterday in Accra, Ghana, where leaders of ECOWAS held an Extraordinary meeting on the political situation in Mali, chaired by President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Sierra Leone’s President Dr Julius Maada Bio called for consultations and wider communications with stakeholders in Mali, following a military takeover in the country.

“This meeting underscores the urgency of maintaining peace and stability in Mali, which we all agree, has critical implications for the stability of the entire ECOWAS region. Indeed, given the multidimensionality of the situation in Mali, the authority is not dealing with an exclusive Malian problem. This is an ECOWAS problem. This is an international problem,” president Bio said.

Speaking about key decisions of the last ECOWAS Summit, President Bio reminded his fellow leaders that the Government of Sierra Leone had called for respect for the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Good Governance and Democracy – condemning unconstitutional political change.

“Military take-overs violate ECOWAS, AU, and UN Resolutions. Sierra Leone, therefore, stands in solidarity with ECOWAS and calls for the restoration of constitutional order through inclusive, credible, and transparent elections in accordance with the provisions of prior resolutions on this matter.

“To that end, I urge the Authority of Heads of State and Government to intensify consultations and communications with all stakeholders at all levels. Mediation and conflict prevention are possible and should be pursued,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo expressed his appreciation to his colleagues for answering the clarion call to attend to urgent matters of peace and stability affecting the region.

“Your commitment and our collective determination have been the hallmark of our enviable success as a regional organisation. I salute your steadfastness and determination. The current political impasse in Mali has again raised anxiety and shaken the hope of successful transition and political stability of the country,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo also briefed his colleagues and delegates on the events and actions by the 15-member regional group, with a mandate of promoting economic integration in all fields of activity of the constituting countries, since the Transitional Government in Mali was installed on 18 August 2020.

He commended Mr. Goodluck Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ECOWAS mediator to the Malian crisis.

This is the full statement delivered by President at the ECOWAS meeting yesterday:

“Your Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO, Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, President of the Republic of Ghana; Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS; Your Excellency, the Representative of the UN Secretary General; Your Excellency, President of the African Union Commission; The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Members of the Diplomatic and consular corps, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Let me, from the outset, express my sincere gratitude to Your Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President of the Republic of Ghana, for the fraternal reception and the usual warm Ghanaian hospitality he has accorded me and my delegation since our arrival. I extend warm greetings from the Government and People of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

I wish to extend my sincere appreciation to the ECOWAS Commission and to the mediation team led by His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I thank him for his engagement with the Transitional Government of Mali and all stakeholders on behalf of our community.

I also wish to thank Your Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, for convening this Extraordinary Session on Mali. This meeting underscores the urgency of maintaining peace and stability in Mali, which we all agree, has critical implications for the stability of the entire ECOWAS region.

Indeed, given the multidimensionality of the situation in Mali, the authority is not dealing with an exclusive Malian problem. This is an ECOWAS problem. This is an international problem.

While recalling the decisions of the last Summit, the Government of Sierra Leone calls for respect for the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Good Governance and Democracy that condemns unconstitutional political change.

Military take-overs violate ECOWAS, AU, and UN Resolutions. Sierra Leone therefore stands in solidarity with ECOWAS and calls for the restoration of constitutional order through inclusive, credible, and transparent elections in accordance with the provisions of prior resolutions on this matter.

To that end, I urge the Authority of Heads of State and Government to intensify consultations and communications with all stakeholders at all levels. Mediation and conflict prevention are possible and should be pursued.

Whilst sanctions are rushed in Protocols for such breaches, I urge restraint especially given the complex humanitarian, COVID-19, security, and the economic situation of the Republic of Mali.

Sierra Leone is committed to supporting a peaceful resolution in Mali and strongly encourages the leaders of the transitional authority to adhere to the transitional period and the roadmap to democratic civilian rule. Your Excellency the Chair; Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government; Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, I urge The Authority to attend to how sustainable peace and stability can be maintained in Mali beyond elections and the return to constitutional order and democratic governance.

The holding of democratic elections alone will not address the complex issues at the heart of the Malian crisis. The concerns of all stakeholders should therefore be fully addressed. For sustainable peace, we must ensure that the military of the Republic of Mali stays cohesive and must be fully supported to discharge its constitutional mandate to the Republic.

Let me end by conveying that Sierra Leone stands in solidarity with the friendly People of the Republic of Mali, and in concord with concrete actions and decisions to ensure a peaceful resolution of the political entanglement in Mali. I thank you for your kind attention.” (END).

Source Sierra Leone Telegraph.

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