- Published on Tuesday, 13 November 2012 06:51
- Written by The NEWS
The Extraordinary Session of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government ended in Abuja, Nigeria on Sunday, November 11, 2012 with a renewed commitment to finding a timely resolution to the crises in both Mali and Guinea Bissau.
At the end of the regional summit, ECOWAS Heads of State and Government adopted a Communiqué in which they spelled a host of decisions, prominent among which were the following:
On Mali, ECOWAS Authority reiterated that dialogue remains the preferred option for the resolution of the political crisis in Mali. However, regarding the security situation, recourse to force may be indispensable in order to dismantle terrorist and transnational criminal networks that pose a threat to international peace and security.
ECOWAS Authority adopted the harmonized Concept of Operations for the deployment of an African- led international Stabilization Force in Mali and requested the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to endorse the Concept and ensure its transmission to the United Nations Security Council by November 15, 2012.
The Concept of Operations, which was crafted by the Chiefs of Defense Staff of ECOWAS and endorsed by the Summit, provides for a Stabilization Force of at least 3,200 troops mainly drawn from ECOWAS countries with a one-year intervention mandate.
Accordingly, ECOWAS Authority urged UN Security Council to authorize the deployment of the international military force in Mali in conformity with Article 7 of the UN Charter.
Authorities of the regional group also reiterated its decision that neither the Interim President, the Prime Minister nor other members of the Malian Transitional Government can be candidates in the next presidential elections, a roadmap of which is to be crafted within a period of fifteen days by the Malian Interim Government.
ECOWAS Authority urged the Transitional Authorities in Mali to expedite actions on the establishment of the National Committee on negotiations to spearhead, with the facilitation of the ECOWAS Mediator on Mali, President Blaise Campraore, dialogue among all the internal stakeholders in the Transition and also with armed groups not involved with terrorist and criminal activities and who accept, without condition, the unity and territorial integrity of the Malian state as well as the secular nature of the State.
Already, two rebel movements in the North of Mali, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and Ansar Dine, have expressed their willingness to dialogue.
On the situation in Guinea Bissau, authorities of ECOWAS called upon the African Union to recognize the Transitional Government in Guinea Bissau which was established a few months ago with the facilitation of ECOWAS. Additionally, ECOWAS urged the AU to suspend the sanctions imposed on Guinea Bissau as an encouragement to the Transitional Authorities in recognition of the progress the country continues to make towards forging a more inclusive transitional government.
ECOWAS Authority also instructed the ECOWAS Commission to expedite action on the joint assessment mission to Guinea Bissau by ECOWAS, AU, EU, CPLP (Community of Portuguese Language People), and the UN, as ECOWAS considers such a mission as an important process in consensus building at the international level.
The regional group strongly condemned the destabilization attempt of the 21 October 2012 and denounced any recourse to violence or any unconstitutional means of expressing political grievances. Moreover, ECOWAS Authority also re-affirmed its decision to disallow the Interim President, the Prime Minister, and other members of the Transitional Government from contesting in the upcoming presidential elections.