President Bio condemns military takeovers at ECOWAS meeting as crisis deepens in Mali

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 31 May 2021:

Yesterday in Accra, Ghana, where leaders of ECOWAS held an Extraordinary meeting on the political situation in Mali, chaired by President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Sierra Leone’s President Dr Julius Maada Bio called for consultations and wider communications with stakeholders in Mali, following a military takeover in the country.

“This meeting underscores the urgency of maintaining peace and stability in Mali, which we all agree, has critical implications for the stability of the entire ECOWAS region. Indeed, given the multidimensionality of the situation in Mali, the authority is not dealing with an exclusive Malian problem. This is an ECOWAS problem. This is an international problem,” president Bio said.

Speaking about key decisions of the last ECOWAS Summit, President Bio reminded his fellow leaders that the Government of Sierra Leone had called for respect for the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Good Governance and Democracy – condemning unconstitutional political change.

“Military take-overs violate ECOWAS, AU, and UN Resolutions. Sierra Leone, therefore, stands in solidarity with ECOWAS and calls for the restoration of constitutional order through inclusive, credible, and transparent elections in accordance with the provisions of prior resolutions on this matter.

“To that end, I urge the Authority of Heads of State and Government to intensify consultations and communications with all stakeholders at all levels. Mediation and conflict prevention are possible and should be pursued,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo expressed his appreciation to his colleagues for answering the clarion call to attend to urgent matters of peace and stability affecting the region.

“Your commitment and our collective determination have been the hallmark of our enviable success as a regional organisation. I salute your steadfastness and determination. The current political impasse in Mali has again raised anxiety and shaken the hope of successful transition and political stability of the country,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo also briefed his colleagues and delegates on the events and actions by the 15-member regional group, with a mandate of promoting economic integration in all fields of activity of the constituting countries, since the Transitional Government in Mali was installed on 18 August 2020.

He commended Mr. Goodluck Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ECOWAS mediator to the Malian crisis.

This is the full statement delivered by President at the ECOWAS meeting yesterday:

“Your Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO, Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, President of the Republic of Ghana; Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS; Your Excellency, the Representative of the UN Secretary General; Your Excellency, President of the African Union Commission; The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Members of the Diplomatic and consular corps, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Let me, from the outset, express my sincere gratitude to Your Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President of the Republic of Ghana, for the fraternal reception and the usual warm Ghanaian hospitality he has accorded me and my delegation since our arrival. I extend warm greetings from the Government and People of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

I wish to extend my sincere appreciation to the ECOWAS Commission and to the mediation team led by His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I thank him for his engagement with the Transitional Government of Mali and all stakeholders on behalf of our community.

I also wish to thank Your Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, for convening this Extraordinary Session on Mali. This meeting underscores the urgency of maintaining peace and stability in Mali, which we all agree, has critical implications for the stability of the entire ECOWAS region.

Indeed, given the multidimensionality of the situation in Mali, the authority is not dealing with an exclusive Malian problem. This is an ECOWAS problem. This is an international problem.

While recalling the decisions of the last Summit, the Government of Sierra Leone calls for respect for the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Good Governance and Democracy that condemns unconstitutional political change.

Military take-overs violate ECOWAS, AU, and UN Resolutions. Sierra Leone therefore stands in solidarity with ECOWAS and calls for the restoration of constitutional order through inclusive, credible, and transparent elections in accordance with the provisions of prior resolutions on this matter.

To that end, I urge the Authority of Heads of State and Government to intensify consultations and communications with all stakeholders at all levels. Mediation and conflict prevention are possible and should be pursued.

Whilst sanctions are rushed in Protocols for such breaches, I urge restraint especially given the complex humanitarian, COVID-19, security, and the economic situation of the Republic of Mali.

Sierra Leone is committed to supporting a peaceful resolution in Mali and strongly encourages the leaders of the transitional authority to adhere to the transitional period and the roadmap to democratic civilian rule. Your Excellency the Chair; Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government; Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, I urge The Authority to attend to how sustainable peace and stability can be maintained in Mali beyond elections and the return to constitutional order and democratic governance.

The holding of democratic elections alone will not address the complex issues at the heart of the Malian crisis. The concerns of all stakeholders should therefore be fully addressed. For sustainable peace, we must ensure that the military of the Republic of Mali stays cohesive and must be fully supported to discharge its constitutional mandate to the Republic.

Let me end by conveying that Sierra Leone stands in solidarity with the friendly People of the Republic of Mali, and in concord with concrete actions and decisions to ensure a peaceful resolution of the political entanglement in Mali. I thank you for your kind attention.” (END).

3 Comments

  1. Mr ‘Pragmatic’ Yillah – I thank you for your candid,thoughtful response; Indeed, time has proven to me that you are amongst the most sagacious and realistic thinkers I have ever come across in my life. Age ain’t nothing but a number – I may be a young cub still under 30 but my thinking abilities are exceptional. To be frank I am a “Pro Life” advocate that believes in the sanctity of Life in all its complexed and intricate forms; If human lives are not sacred, then nothing else is; Answer – for what logical reasons exactly has it become permissible to use the most unbridled form of violence that extinguishes innocent lives for a self-centered objective?

    I challenge anyone on this glorious forum to given me an example of any military Coup d’etat that was squeaky clean and not stained with the blood of ordinary people. The truth of the matter is clear; The sad history of countries in Africa, South America and Asia that have experienced Coup d’Etat’s have been written not with ink but with human blood; In the Book of Coup d’Etat’s men like Idi Amin of Uganda, Hissene Habre of Chad and Badamisi Ibrahim Babangida have the most shockingly longest and biggest chapters written with the blood of poor innocent people. This is totally repugnant and unacceptable to me; How can anyone deemed intelligent support the spilling of innocent blood?

    Anyone who kills anything or anyone that doesn’t pose a threat to their existence in my view is worse that a predatory animal – a predatory animal hunts for food but a coup plotter kills to satisfy the evil desires of his wicked, treacherous, malicious soul. Mr A.A. Jalloh I thank you sincerely also for your kind words. Now we know where everyone stands on issues of utmost critical importance.(lol)

  2. Mr Stargazer – So sorry for not acknowledging your wonderful compliments until now. I have been away from the forum for a couple of days, returning only today. It gives me immense pleasure when a great mind such as you sees merit in what I say on the myriad of issues that Mr Thomas and our national treasure – The Sierra Leone Telegraph – bring up unfailingly every day for discussion. Not so long ago you and I were on opposite sides of a couple of debates, leading to some robust exchanges between us. How refreshing that we are for once on the same side of an argument!

    Our principal opponent this time is our brother, Mr Santhikie Sorie, a brilliant and formidable debater with an excellent grasp of our political history and, not least, a lovely and confident command of the pen. Whatever our positions – indeed however divergent and irreconcilable they may be – on the subject of military coups in our beloved homeland, we are all debating with good faith, impelled by a common desire and purpose,namely bringing progress to our poor, struggling nation. And this, irrespective of our party-political beliefs and persuasions, or, as in my case, the lack thereof, at least so far.

    Debates by their very nature generate disagreements, often leading to passionate, robust, muscular exchanges. However, such fiery exchanges may well be in order as they may yield great rewards for all the parties involved – a broader view of an issue under discussion and ultimately a fuller understanding of the complexities of our history as we search for a way out of the political and economic paralysis besetting our country.

    While the debate on the rights and wrongs of military coups, elections and referendums relating to our country remains unresolved among us, I am grateful to you for your support, to Mr Sorie for ably and robustly challenging my assumptions and to Mr Abraham Jalloh for his well-reasoned interventions. Having children like three of you, possessed of a great analytical ability and a passionate commitment to finding a way forward for her, Sierra Leone can rest assured that brighter days lie ahead.

  3. Completely agree with you Mr Sorie. I think for the past sixty years, our country has been govern by emotional political detachments,from the real issues affecting me, you and families up and down the country. And this phenomenon is buttress by egotism, infighting, no clear sense of direction, and the menu for political action if elected by the people, is tailored to meet the needs of those that control the party. Which is dangerous in the sense, people are only allowed to express their feelings or opinions to fit in to their own narrative . Or as President of the country of seven million people, is either your way or the high way. Bio comes to mind, and anyone who offers a third way,is label, tagged like an Amazon product, and is blissfully delivered to party political activities for or the sharks for political consumption.

    Politics today is becoming more aggressive, feul by social media, and cult like following, of politicians that monitors whats is said about them, and why this key board warriors, think they are the new judges of discerning fake news and comming away convinced that there believes has been unfairly misrepresented.And we Sierra Leoneans are guilty of this misinformation melt down.people are pork barrel, ready to jump at anyone they feel is expressing different ideas to their beliefs. The answer is never forget your history and where you come from.

    So the question then becomes how do we as a nation cure ourselves from this malicious virus, that we don’t see our fellow Sierra-leoneans as Sierra Leoneans, but rather the other. Quite literally that is were our country is right now. We are locked in a mortal combat, shoving, kicking, and shouting at each other, with no winners at all. Meanwhile our country is still stuck at the political battles of the 60s. More like, whoes got the biggest megaphone in the neighbourhood? All the while other countries in the African continent is working how to create a hama genius society, and creating the necessary tool to attract foreign investors.

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