Leaders attending the 50th Ordinary Session of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Liberia To Get ECOWAS Prop For 2017 Polls
MONROVIA, December 20 (LINA) – The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has directed the ECOWAS Commission to provide the necessary assistance to Liberia in conformity with the provisions of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
According to a dispatch from Abuja, Nigeria, sub-regional Heads of State and Government took the decision during the 50th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority held at a local hotel in Abuja on Saturday, December 17.
Leaders attending the session were President John MAHAMA of Ghana; Alpha CONDE of Guinea; José Mário Vaz of Guinea Bissau; Ellen Johnson SIRLEAF of Liberia; Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA of Mali; Mahamadou ISSOUFOU of Niger; Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria; Macky SALL of Senegal; Ernest Bai KOROMA of Sierra Leone and Faure GNASSINGBE of Togo.
Others were Aurelien A. AGBENONCI, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Benin; Alpha BARRY, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Burkinabe Abroad of Burkina Faso; Cesar MONTEIRO, Ambassador of Cape Verde in Senegal; and Bala GARBA-JAHUMPA, Minister of Works, Construction and Infrastructure of The Gambia.
Institutional representatives were the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas; and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Guinea Bissau and Head of UNIOGBIS, Mr. Brahim Modibo Touré, as well as Representatives of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the Commission of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) as observers.
Liberia is scheduled to hold presidential and legislative elections in October 2017, becoming the first transfer power from a sitting president to an in-coming one in over half a century.
In the communiqué read by Liberia’s Foreign Minister and Chair of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, Madam Marjon V. Kamara, at the end of the meeting, the Authority also decided that in order to promote human rights and inclusive governance, mainly with regards to women and youths, to set aside January 16 of every year as the “ECOWAS Human Rights Day.”
This day is symbolic in the region as it marks the ascension to power of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as President of Liberia and the first African Woman Head of State.
On peace, security and democracy, ECOWAS leaders reaffirmed the importance of peace, security and stability in the sub-region for the economic development of the region.
They expressed deep indignation at the terrorist attacks of Friday, December 16, in Burkina Faso against a detachment of theGroupement des Forces Anti-terroristes de l’Armee (GFAT), which resulted in the death of 12 people while many others sustained injuries.
The leaders strongly condemned this latest attack and expressed sympathy and full solidarity with the people, Army and Government of Burkina Faso.
They honored the memory of the victims of the attacks, presented condolences to the bereaved families and wished the wounded persons speedy recovery.
The Authority reaffirmed its determination to relentlessly pursue the fight against terrorism and lauded the efforts by Member States to prevent and address this scourge.
They commended the activities of the Multinational Joint Task Force against Boko Haram, as well as the clear results obtained by the Force in spite of the difficulties encountered.