Abuja, 8th November 2016

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ECOWAS Ambassadors have adopted the various memoranda geared towards creating a more stable, secure and economically viable region.

At the end of the 25th session of the Mediation and Security Council (ambassadorial level) meeting in Abuja on the 8th of November 2016, participants who also endorsed the work programme as well as the definitive agenda, agreed that the on-going efforts at keeping the region strife free, would yield the desired fruits once the collective vision of the Council is kept alive.

The Momoranda adopted during the meeting were those on the political and security situation in the region, the statutes of the ECOWAS Council of the Wise, the adoption of 23rd November as ECOWAS Human Rights Day, the implementation of the National Early Warning and Response Mechanisms (NEWRMs) as well as for the consideration of the Agenda of the 37th Ordinary Meeting of the Mediation & Security Council.

Welcoming participants to the session, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Mrs. Halima Ahmed enthused that deliberations on how to improve current efforts at the enhancement of peace and security and the subsequent recommendations of the meeting will be far-reaching and lead West Africa into a more stable and secure region.

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According to her, efforts geared towards operationalizing the National Early Warning and Response Mechanisms are also “progressing smoothly” and will help the Commission prevent both conflicts and crisis.

Commissioner Ahmed noted that since the last Council’s meeting at the ambassadorial level in May 2016, the region has witnessed positive developments on the political side with the successful conduct of presidential elections in Cabo Verde recently while crucial elections are also scheduled to hold in The Gambia and Ghana in December 2016.

The Commissioner disclosed that ECOWAS Commission is commending President Alpha Conde of Guinea for initiating the national dialogues, one of which led to the agreement between the government and the opposition, noting that the Commission strongly urges the Guinean stakeholders to sustain the momentum in view of implementing the required electoral reforms and completing the electoral process by ensuring that communal and local elections are held on due course.

She however observed that despite the positive signals, the security situation in the region remains of great concern to the Commission with a number of challenges still persisting. Some of the challenges were listed as the continuous menace of the Boko Haram terrorists and the Niger Delta crisis in Nigeria and the presence of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Also mentioned is the difficulty in the implementation of the peace Agreement signed in Mali in 2015 as well as the Herdsmen and farmers’ conflict and the general problem of transhumance.

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Bringing the Meeting to a close after a resounding opening statement earlier, the chair of the Mediation and Security Council (Ambassadorial level) and ambassador of Liberia professor Al Hassan Conteh said enough stock had been taken of important events which transpired in the region since the last meeting of the Council. He thanked all the ambassadors and Directors of the relevant Directorates for their valuable contributions and presentations at the meeting which he then adjourned forthwith.

During the meeting, updates were given on the political and security situation of the region; also of threats as well as the dynamic interplay of social and political forces. Various recommendations were also examined.

The Report of the participants will be forwarded to the Mediation and Security Council meeting at the ministerial level for consideration.

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Source: ecowas.int

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