Raft of recommendations from the 34th ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council17 May, 2015
|The 34th session of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council ended in Accra on Sunday 17 May 2015 with several recommendations on the political and security situation in the region, mainly in Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea and Guinea Bissau.
The meeting decided, among other issues, on the renewal of the mandate of the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB), the holding of presidential elections this year in some Member States, review of the ECOWAS Mechanism and Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, and the war against the Boko Haram terrorist group.
The recommendations made by members of the Council on these different subjects, for the most part presented by ECOWAS Commission President, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, will be submitted for the attention of the 47th Ordinary session of the Organization’s Authority of Heads of State and Government which, too, is scheduled to hold in the Ghanaian capital on Tuesday the 19th instant.
On Burkina Faso, the Council reaffirmed the importance of the principle of inclusion in the transition process and election preparations, urging all concerned stakeholders to adhere strictly to the set electoral calendar for the presidential election on 11 October 2015. Council also urged Member States and the international community to provide Burkina Faso with the requisite financial support to organize credible, fair and transparent elections.
As regards Mali, participants commended the signing of the peace and reconciliation accord on 15 May 2015 and called on all signatories to the agreement to continually adhere to the provisions so as to ensure implementation. While urging the Unified Azawad Movements to proceed without delay with the signing of the said accord, they threatened sanctions on parties refusing to sign the document or adhere to the provisions.
On Guinea, Council called upon different political stakeholders to resort to dialogue in order to reach a consensus on the electoral calendar. They asked the ECOWAS Commission to facilitate dialogue between the government and the opposition. They also supported the Commission President’s decision to despatch a high-level mission to Conakry with the aim of leading the stakeholders to reach a consensus on the organisation of elections and the preservation of peace in the country.
As regards Guinea-Bissau, the Accra meeting called upon the Guinea Bissau authorities to remain committed to reforms necessary for ensuring peace, stability and sustainable development in the country. The meeting lauded the progress accomplished in the defence and security sector reform and asked the Commission to pursue efforts towards its establishment.
Council recommended the six-month extension (1 July to 31 December 2015) to the mandate of the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB) in keeping with a process of gradual withdrawal.
Regarding security plan, Council lauded the ongoing concerted efforts by Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad in the war against the Boko Haram terrorist group, and underpinned the need for the adoption of a resolution by the United Nations Security Council to address the recurrent actions of the group.
One other point considered by the Council was the review of legal texts in force, namely, the Mechanism for the Prevention, Management, Conflict Resolution, Peace-keeping and Security as well as the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
Council addressed a recommendation for the adoption of these texts to the Authority of Heads of State and Government after indicating that “all the States must harmonise their national legislation to grant a maximum of two presidential mandates”.
At the end of the meeting, Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Chair of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council, Hanna Serwaa Tetteh, commended members of the said Council and the ECOWAS Commission for the quality of the reports and memoranda presented as well as the fruitful deliberations.
We recall that the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council enfolds all the Member States’ Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and Defence.