Liberia: MRU Ends Diplomatic, Peace, Security and Democracy Conference in Liberia

Harbel — The Mano River Union has ended a two-day Diplomatic, Peace, Security and Democracy Conference on the political situation in the Republic of Guinea at the initiative of H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia held at the Farmington Hotel in Margibi County, the Republic of Liberia.

The nine counts Communique was made public by Liberia's Foreign Minister, H.E. Amb. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., who stated that they endorsed and reaffirmed the common position of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) and pledged support and commitment to the ECOWAS process and transition road map in Guinea.

The conference commended the relentless efforts of Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, to bring about a peaceful and amicable resolution of the situation in the Republic of Guinea.

The Conference welcomed the pronouncements and commitment of the National Transitional Council of Guinea to restore constitutional order and return power in the shortest possible time.

The Conference furthered that the National Committee for Reconciliation and Development (CNRD) be encouraged to comply with the ECOWAS transition roadmap, and to establish a clear process of transition; setting a timetable for the holding of free, fair, and transparent elections and restoration of constitutional order.

The conference urged that MRU engages the leaders of the National Committee of Reconciliation and Development (CNRD) in Guinea as well as ECOWAS in order to develop a framework for the return to constitutional rule.

The delegates further noted with keen interest the focus of the National Transitional Council to fight corruption, initiate reforms, and strengthen institutions to sustain an irreversible transition to democracy, governance, and constitutional rule in Guinea.

The Conference adopted with great appreciation the policy framework and guide outlined in the keynote address of President Weah who observed the historical threats to the peace, security, and stability of the sub-region.

President Weah commended the MRU in its attempt to foster closer working relations with ECOWAS, AU, UNOWAS, and other partners to revive the 15th Protocol of the MRU on Peace, Security, and Defense.

The conference adopted President Weah's call for MRU-ECOWAS collaboration to support conflict management, resolution, peacebuilding, and political transformation in Guinea as an added impetus to the proposed revision of the ECOWAS supplementary protocol on Democracy and Good Governance of 2001.

The Conference also adopted the proposal of President Weah calling for a merged ECOWAS - AU - MRU Mission to be supported by the UN Peace Building Commission Fund and other international partners, which should be established to support the ECOWAS mediation effort in the current Guinean transitional arrangements being undertaken to prepare Guinea for democratic elections and the return to constitutional order.

The Secretary-General of the MRU Amb. Medina Wesseh was called upon to reach out to ECOWAS, AU, UN, United Nations Peace Building Commission, and other partners to foster stronger and more active partnerships in peace-building initiatives for the MRU, and specifically for its engagement in Guinea.

The conference noted that the Joint Security Committee of the MRU be reactivated to enhance intelligence sharing and collaboration in the fight against terrorism and ensure security in the MRU.

The Communique noted that the requisite funds be mobilized to support the periodic meetings of all the structures indicated in the MRU revised fifteenth (15th) Protocol of Peace, Security and Defense.

It detailed that ECOWAS, AU, UNOWAS, and the Kingdom of Morocco serve as moral guarantors of the MRU's complementary supportive role of ECOWAS' Agenda in Guinea.

The Communique mentioned that a Joint Mission comprising the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Ministers of Defense, Chiefs of Defense Staff and the Secretary-General of the Mano River Union (MRU) pay a visit to the Republic of Guinea as early as December 2, 2021, before the next ECOWAS Summit which convenes on December 12, 2021.

It indicated that the MRU Secretariat should work along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia to convene a summit of the Mano River Union in Monrovia, and encourage the leaders of the MRU to meet on the sidelines of the ECOWAS Summit in Abuja, 12 December 2021 prior to the Monrovia Summit.

The conference expressed deep and profound thanks and appreciation to H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia for the vision, which led to the MRU Secretariat, under the able leadership of H.E. Amb. Medina Wesseh, in collaboration with the Liberian government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headed by Amb. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., to organize and host the Mano River Union Diplomatic, Peace, Security and Democracy conference.

Meanwhile, the MRU conference was attended by several dignitaries from the Republic of Sierra Leone that included H.E. Prof. David J FRANCIS, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Brig. Gen (Rtd). Hassan Kellie CONTEH, Minister of Defense, and Brig Gen. Abu Bakarr CONTEH, Representing the Chief of Defense Staff

Representing the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire were H.E. Alcide DJEDJE, Minister Delegate to the Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and the Diaspora, in Charge of African Integration, Mr. MALAN Koffi Jean Paul, Representing the Minister of State, Minister of Defense, and Major General KOUAME N'dri Julien Sebastian, Deputy Chief of Staff

While the Republic of Liberia was represented by H.E. Amb. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Daniel Dee ZIANKAHN, Jr, Minister of National Defense, and. Maj. Gen. Prince C. JOHNSON, III, Chief of Staff

Participating in the conference and making special remarks were: H.E. Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the Republic of Ghana and Chair of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers (virtual), H.E. Amb. Isbayene Driss, Representing the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates of the Kingdom of Morocco, H. E. Amb. Maman Sambo Sidikou, Representing of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS)

It was also observed by high ranking officials of the Government of the Republic of Liberia and other distinguished personalities that included H.E. Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor, Vice President, Hon. Dr. Bhofal Chambers, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Senator Albert Chie, President Pro-Tempore and some members of the Senate, His Honor Francis S. Korkpor, Sr., Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

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