The Ministerial-Level Extraordinary Session of the Mediation and Security Council (MSC) has underscored the need for commitment to the principles of democratic governance, and ensuring citizens’ freedom to elect their leaders remains intact.
The meeting in Abuja, on February 8, 2024,is barely two weeks after three member states – Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, announced their withdrawal from ECOWAS “with immediate effect”. Separate official notifications on January 29th, 2024 followed the initial joint communiqué signed by representatives of all three countries on 28th January 2024.
Chairman of the MSC and Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, therefore, described the meeting as crucial “to devise solutions to the challenges presented by these decisions” which have generated considerable concern across the region and beyond.
Ambassador Tuggar added that as a Community, “we project not just our common values and a more attractive market. We also can deal more effectively with those shared challenges that go beyond national borders: climate change, violent extremism, migration and organized crime, to name but a few.”
The Extraordinary meeting of the Mediation and Security Council at Ministerial Level is made up of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence from ECOWAS Member States.
Meanwhile, Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, the President of the ECOWAS Commission said the unfolding events in the Region are posing threats to peace and political stability in the West African community.
He described the “hasty decision” as not having taken into account “the conditions for withdrawal of membership from ECOWAS, as espoused in the 1993 ECOWAS Revised Treaty” and the implications on the citizens.
President Touray, however, expressed the belief that ‘’there is no challenge that ECOWAS cannot overcome and ‘’if there is a time for ECOWAS to stay together, this is the time.”