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Statement on extraordinary session of ECOWAS leaders over Mali

Statement to the press/media by Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional integration on the extraordinary session of the authority of Heads of State and Government on the situation in Mali, Saturday, 29th May, 2021 at 9.30 am

I am pleased to address you this morning on preparations towards the forthcoming Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, which will be convened in Accra on Sunday 30th May, 2021.

Let me, at the outset, thank the Hon. Minister for Information for providing us with this platform to interact with you.

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.

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.

May I indicate that the convening of the Extraordinary Session demonstrates the unwavering commitment of the President of the Republic towards addressing the political situation in Mali.

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

That meeting 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.

At this juncture, I wish to provide some information on the expected participation in the Summit as follows:

ECOWAS MEMBER STATES

● So far ten (10) Heads of State and Government have confirmed their participation.

● Senegal will be represented by the Foreign Minister.

● Benin has confirmed participation but yet to indicate the level of representation.

● Countries yet to confirm participation are Guinea and Cabo Verde.

ECOWAS COMMISSION

● We are also expecting the participation of the President and Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission.

OTHER GUESTS

● Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ECOWAS Special Mediator for Mali, H.E. Goodluck Jonathan will be participating in the Summit.

A Communique will be issued at the end of the Summit.

Thank you for your kind attention.

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