Mali: Liberia Deeply Concerned Over Military Takeover in Mali - Foreign Minister Tells 49th Inter-Ministerial Conference

Members of Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa approach Timbuktu (file photo).

Accra — Liberia's Foreign Minister Dee-Maxwell Kemaya says the country is concerned about the 'unwelcomed' interruption in the civilian-led transitional process in Mali.

Min. Kemaya called on stakeholders to exercise commitment in putting the process back on track for the safe realization of democratic and governance measures consistent with ECOWAS Protocols and norms, and the February 2022 electoral timetable.

Min. Kemaya was full of praise for Heads of State and Government, and its designated mediator, His Excellency Goodluck E. Jonathan, former president of Nigeria, for keeping on track the mediation endeavor, and recommending measures to ensure the realization of the democratic transition process in Mali.

The Liberian foreign minister spoke at the 49th Inter-Ministerial Conference held in Accra, Ghana from May 24-25. Among key issues discussed at the conference were the constitutional reform processes of Gambia and Guinea-Bissau.

The reconstitution of the ECOWAS Council of the Wise, which is one of our important institutions for preventive diplomacy and mediation in the region, was also key on the agenda during the two-day conference.

In this respect, Min. Kemaya said, the country looks forward to finalizing its nomination of two of its eminent citizens, as soon as possible, to be a part of this important body, to contribute to its peacebuilding and mediation activities and programs.

Also, the foreign minister, on behalf of Liberia, congratulated Guinea and Sierra Leone for resolving, through a dialogue, the situation at the Yenga border between the two countries. "We welcome the reopening of the Yenga border on February 18, 2021, and will continue to work with our neighbours for the reopening of other closed borders and the sustenance of peace and security in the Mano River Basin," he said.

He said Liberia is concerned about the continued risk caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the region, and called on all Member States to continue to join ranks in implementing the measures recommended by the WHO, WAHO and other international parties, in combatting this scourge.

Speaking on security in the region, Min. Kemaya wants countries redouble their efforts in addressing terrorism and trans-national organized crimes. "As we have been told, they have exacerbated the security situation; as well the humanitarian situation in our region". The reports presented to us about the security situation in our region are overly concerning".

He said Liberia stands ready to continue to support the effort of international partners and the ECOWAS Commission to speedily implement the Action Plan for the eradication of terrorism in the region.

"As a Member State located on the bulge of West Africa, along the Gulf of Guinea, Liberia takes note of the deteriorating maritime security situation in the region. As Your Excellencies are aware, Liberia administers the second highest flagged vessels in the world. Therefore, reports presented about heightened piracy attacks on vessels this year are also overly concerning. Liberia looks forward to working amicably with ECOWAS and international stakeholders to address the issue of maritime insecurity in the region".

Min. Kemaya also said Liberia takes note of the report on the status of implementation of the national early warning centers, and is gratified to note that the country is at 100 percent level in its implementation of the activities for the National Center for the Coordination of Response Mechanism (NCCRM).

"As a post conflict state, Liberia attaches immense importance to the NCCRM to ward off threats to national and regional security, including insurrections, terrorism, insurgencies, in compliance with the ECOWAS Mechanism on Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security, the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Mechanism. I am pleased to report that Liberia is now in the process of ratifying the NCCRM mechanism into law through its National Legislature".

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