9 June 2017

West Africa: Ecowas Highlights Situation in the Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali

Monrovia — The ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government has commended the mediation efforts of the Heads of State of Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and the former Head of State of Ghana for the peaceful and successful resolution of The Gambian political impasse.

The ECOWAS Heads of State and Government equally expressed sincere gratitude to the Presidents of Guinea and Mauritania, for supporting the mediation efforts.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, the commendation was contained in the Final Communique of the 51st Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority held at the Farmington Hotel in lower Margibi County on Sunday, June 4, 2017.

The Authority also commended the President of Gambia, for all the initiatives taken, since becoming President, towards ensuring the stability, security and economic recovery of The Gambia.

It urged him to establish the required framework and mechanism that will promote national dialogue and reconciliation and render justice to the victims of past injustices in strict respect of international norms and principles.

The Authority commended the crucial role played by the ECOWAS Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG) towards the stabilization and security of that Country.

Taking note of the fragile security situation there, the Authority extended the ECOMIG Mission for an additional 12 months and expanded its mandate to include support to training and reorientation of relevant components of The Gambian armed forces.

It also called on an increase in the force's strength and appealed to Member States to contribute additional troops.

The Authority launched an appeal to the International Community to support efforts being undertaken by the Gambian Government towards the economic recovery and stabilization.

It directed the Commission, in collaboration with the UN and the AU, to establish and operationalize the International Contact Group on The Gambia to monitor the situation and coordinate partners' support to the country.

On the situation in Guinea Bissau, the Authority expressed its deep concern over the persistence of the political and institutional impasse in that country despite the signing of the Conakry Accord, aimed at finding a lasting solution to the protracted political stalemate on October 14, 2016.

The Authority urged the President of Guinea Bissau to comply with the provisions of the Conakry Accord and called on all parties to strictly respect and comply with the tenets of the Accord.

In this regard, the Authority extended the mandate of the ECOMIB for three months, to allow for full implementation of the Conakry Accord by the political stakeholders in that country.

It affirmed its determination to institute, if needed, targeted sanctions against all those who obstruct the smooth implementation of the Conakry Accord. It commended the non-interference of the Army in the political impasse and strongly urged it to continue in like manner.

On the situation in Mali, the Authority commended the Government of Mali for the significant steps taken to ensure the implementation of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement including the installation of Interim Authorities in all regions in the north of the country, the commencement of joint patrols by the Malian army and the armed groups and the successful holding of the National Dialogue Conference.

The Authority expressed concern over the recurrence of terrorist attacks in the north and center of the country and in that effect, reaffirm its condemnation of these attacks on civilian population, MINUSMA, Barkhane as well as Malian Defense and Security Forces.

It reiterated its strong commitment to the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Mali, reaffirmed its support to the peace process and urged all stakeholders to comply with it.

The Authority requested the UN Security Council, in view of the renewal of the MINUSMA mandate in June 2017, to provide the mission with necessary operational capacity for the fulfillment of its role.

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