The Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS), has commended President Akufo-Addo and his colleague Head of State of Guinea, President Alpha Condé, for their joint mediation efforts in the Republic of Togo aimed at resolving the political tension between the Togolese government and opposition parties.
Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, in his welcome address, at the opening ceremony of the 54th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government at the Hilton Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria, expressed the gratitude of the Community to the two leaders for championing the search for political stability and security in Togo.
“I wish at this juncture, to pay special tribute to His Excellency, Nana Akuffo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and His Excellency, Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea, the ECOWAS facilitators in the resolution of the Togolese political crisis, for their tireless endeavours towards a peaceful settlement,” Muhammadu Buhari said.
He also expressed excitement at the significant progress made through the collective efforts towards the resolution of the political and institutional crisis in Guinea Bissau. “Within the framework of our regional solidarity, we have assisted the governments of Togo and Mali in tackling political and security problems while also addressing food challenges in parts of the sub-region,” the Chair of ECOWAS stated.
Special Representative UNOWAS
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres, and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, in his remark, said more effort need’s to be invested into addressing contentious issues related to the conduct of elections in West Africa in order to arrest and prevent election-related violence, human rights abuses and to promote respect for the rule of law.
“Upcoming elections in the sub-region will present opportunities for further consolidating democracy. UNOWAS is coordinating efforts with ECOWAS Commission to ensure appropriate support to these countries in their efforts to organize free, credible and peaceful elections” Dr. Chambas said.
The Kingdom of Morocco
The request by the Kingdom of Morocco to be made part of the ECOWAS was not on the agenda of the 54th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government. Morocco requested at the 51st Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States in Monrovia, Liberia on June 4, 2017, to be made a member of the West African Sub-Regional body. The 51st Ordinary Session agreed, in principle, to Morocco’s membership to the West African sub-regional body and directed the Commission to consider the implications of the country’s membership. However, the expectation that the ECOWAS leaders will give the Moroccan Application any consideration at the 54th Ordinary Session did not happen, leaving the status of the request unclear.
The 54th Ordinary Session however considered the reports on proposed ECOWAS Single Currency, the political situation in Guinea Bissau and Togo. According to the draft agenda of the Session, the ECOWAS leaders would also sign community acts and decisions and read to the ECOWAS, the political declaration and common position on the return of cultural artefacts to Africa.
The Authority of Heads of State would also consider the Annual Report of ECOWAS, reports of the 41st Ordinary Meeting of the Mediation and Security Council and the 81st Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers.