Extraordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government on the Political Crisis in Burkina Faso, Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria, 22 September 2015
[Mahama of Ghana and his Burkina Faso counterpart arrive Abuja to discuss Burkina Faso crisis]
1. Following the events of 16 and 17 September 2015 relating to the disruption of the transition process in Burkina Faso, the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met in an extraordinary session in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria on 22 September 2015, under the chairmanship of His Excellency Mr Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and current Chairman of the Authority.
2. The following Heads of State and Government or their duly mandated representatives were present at the Session:
– H. E. Thomas Boni YAYI, President of Republic of Benin
– H.E. Alassane OUATTARA, President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire
– H. E. John Dramani MAHAMA, President of the Republic of Ghana
– H. E. Mahamadou ISSOUFOU, President of the Republic of Niger
– H. E. Muhammadu BUHARI, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
– H. E. Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal
– H. E. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Togolese Republic
– H. E. Mohammed Saïd FOFANA, Prime Minister, Head of Government of the Republic of Guinea
– H. E. Modibo KEITA, Prime Minister, Head of Government of the Republic of Mali
– H. E. Firmin N’DO, Ambassador of Burkina Faso to Nigeria
– H. E. Al-Hassan CONTEH, Ambassador of the Republic of Liberia to Nigeria
– H. E. Major General Alfred Claude NELSON-WILLIAMS, Ambassador of the Republic of Sierra Leone to Nigeria.
3. The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo and the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for West Africa, Dr Mohammed Ibn CHAMBAS also participated in the Session.
4. The Heads of State and Government took note of the Memorandum of the President of the ECOWAS Commission on the situation in Burkina Faso. They also noted the conclusions arising from the mediation efforts undertaken from 18 to 20 September 2015 in Ouagadougou by their Excellencies Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and Thomas Boni Yayi, President of the Republic of Benin, in order to find a solution to the crisis.
5. Authority commends the purposeful mediation efforts deployed by H. E. Macky Sall, ECOWAS Chairman and President of the Republic of Senegal and H. E. Thomas Boni Yayi President of the Republic of Benin and ECOWAS-appointed Facilitator.
6. Authority extends to the two Heads of State its deep appreciation for the leadership role and determination with which they were able to arrive at viable proposals on ending the crisis. The Authority expresses its satisfaction at the consultations they held and the proposals which were subsequently made.
7. Authority strongly condemns once again, the attack against the transition, carried out by members of the presidential guard (RSP) on 17 September 2015. It welcomes the unconditional release of all persons detained as a result of these events.
8. Authority reaffirms its commitment to the principles contained in the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and the legal instruments of the African Union.
9. Authority reiterates its full support for the continuation of the civilian transition in Burkina Faso. To this end, the Authority enshrines the decision to immediately reinstate the transition institutions and H.E Michel Kafando as Transition President and President of the Faso.
10. Summit decides to dispatch to Ouagadougou on 23 September 2015, a High Committee of Heads of State and Government comprising Benin, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and Togo, under the chairmanship of the Chairman of the Authority. The Committee will ensure the reinstatement of the Transition President H. E. Michel Kafando and convey the solidarity of ECOWAS to the Burkinabe people, thereby contributing to defusing the prevailing tension and initiating the indispensable and inclusive national dialogue. Authority decides to include in this High Level mission, the Chiefs of Defence Staff of the aforementioned Member States, in order to facilitate constructive dialogue among the different components of the defence and security forces.
11. Authority decides to confirm H. E. Thomas Boni Yayi as the ECOWAS appointed Facilitator for Burkina Faso.
12. Summit demands that the RSP lay down their arms and other military forces refrain from using force, in order to prevent the loss of lives.
13. Summit demands that all the defence and security forces uphold the unity of the army and refrain, under penalty of sanctions, from any action that may lead to a further deterioration of the situation and undermine peace. Summit also demands them to fully take on, in true republican spirit, their duty of maintaining order and protecting lives and property across the national territory.
14. At this stage where dialogue is crucial for national unity and stability in Burkina Faso, the Heads of State and Government call for peace, open mindedness and a spirit of compromise. They urge all stakeholders to expedite action in creating the necessary conditions for national reconciliation.
15. In that respect, Authority invites the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government in liaison with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the members of the High Committee, to initiate political dialogue among all stakeholders in order to reach consensus on all matters proposed by the ECOWAS Mediation.
16. Authority calls on all stakeholders to preserve peace and consider the higher interest of the nation in adopting their various positions and for the successful completion of the process.
17. Summit demands the immediate end to all acts of violence and other human right violations, particularly restrictions on freedom of movement and expression.
18. Authority invites the African Union and the International Community to forgo imposing sanctions on Burkina Faso.
19. Moreover, Authority invites ECOWAS, African Union and United Nations to continue, within the framework of the existing mechanisms particularly GISAT-BF, close collaboration in providing support and monitoring of the process.
20. Authority underscores the urgency in deploying military and human right observers from ECOWAS to Burkina Faso, to monitor the respect for human rights.
It invites the ECOWAS Commission, the African Union and the United Nations to take necessary measures in that regard.
21. Summit observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the incidents. The Heads of State and Government express their deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wish all the wounded a speedy recovery.
22. Authority urges the Burkinabe authorities to establish a compensation fund for the victims and encourages all partners of Burkina Faso and ECOWAS to make contributions to the fund.
23. Summit reiterates its confidence in the Chairman of ECOWAS and the Facilitator and stresses ECOWAS’ role and responsibility in conflict prevention, management and resolution in West Africa. It also emphasises respect for the principle of subsidiarity which governs relations between the African Union and regional economic communities.
24. The Heads of State and Government express their sincere gratitude to H. E. Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Government and people of Nigeria for the warm hospitality extended to them during their stay in Abuja and for the excellent facilities placed at their disposal to ensure the success of the Extraordinary Summit.
DONE IN ABUJA THIS 22ND DAY OF SEPTEMBER 2015
EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF THE AUTHORITY OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT ON THE POLITICAL CRISIS IN BURKINA FASO
Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria, 22nd September, 2015
VOTE OF THANKS
We, Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States, meeting on the 22nd of September 2015 in our Extraordinary Session in Abuja, express our deep appreciation to H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Government and People of Nigeria for the warm Hospitality extended to us, as well as for the excellent facilities placed at our disposal to ensure the success of our summit.
We are also grateful to him for the relaxed and cordial atmosphere in which we held our meetings.
Done In Abuja, This 22nd Day of September 2015
The Authority Economic Community of West African States
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