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Ghana hosts ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on Mali on Sunday – Minister

The Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government is to hold in Accra on Sunday,…

The Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government is to hold in Accra on Sunday, May 30, 2021, Ms. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has said.Speaking on the preparations towards the forthcoming ECOWAS Summit, the Minister told journalists in Accra on Saturday that “In line with the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, the President of the Republic, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in his capacity as Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, following due consultations with his peers decided to convene this Extraordinary Summit.”

She explained that the purpose of the Summit is to enable the Authority deliberate and take consequential decisions on the evolving political and security situation in the Republic of Mali.

“As you are all aware, the past few days have witnessed some worrying developments in Mali. The arrest and detention of the President and Prime Minister of the Transition Government by the military has necessitated a re-evaluation of the strategies adopted by ECOWAS to bring normalcy to the country.

“At the behest of the President of the Republic, an ECOWAS Mediation team, led by H.E. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, ECOWAS Special Envoy and Mediator for Mali, embarked on a fact-finding mission to Mali from 25th to 26th May, 2021 to assess the situation and explore opportunities for the resolution of the crisis. H.E. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will, therefore, report to the Summit on the outcome of the mission,” the Minister said.

According to the Minister, the convening of the Extraordinary Session demonstrates the unwavering commitment of the President Akufo-Addo towards addressing the political situation in Mali.

The Minister recalled that barely a week after his assumption of office as Chair of the ECOWAS Authority, President Akufo-Addo convened an emergency Summit, held at Peduase, in response to the military intervention, which saw the ousting of the then President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on 18th August, 2020.

That meeting, according to her, took important decisions, including a demand on the Malian authorities to ensure that the Transition Government was Civilian-led and should last for a period of eighteen (18) months, with effect from 15th September, 2020.

“The Summit also affirmed that once a civilian-led transition government had assumed office, ECOWAS within the context of its protocols will assist Mali to return to democratic governance. It is important to note that H.E. the President has since been at the centre of efforts, including mediation initiatives, to bring lasting peace and stability to Mali

“It is hoped that all the political actors in Mali will support the outcome of the Extraordinary Summit to be held tomorrow in order to restore constitutional order in our sister country as soon as practicable. The outcome of the Summit will be critical to sustaining the momentum for the return of democracy and stability in Mali,” the Minister said.

She disclosed that so far 10 Heads of State and Government have confirmed their participation. Senegal will be represented by the Foreign Minister, while Benin has confirmed participation, but yet to indicate the level of representation.

Countries yet to confirm participation are Guinea and Cabo Verde and the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ECOWAS Special Mediator for Mali, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan will be participating in the Summit.

“A communique will be issued at the end of the Summit,” she added.

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