Accra, May 31, GNA - The ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government has expressed concern over the recent security situation in Kidal, northern Mali and the bloody attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram in parts of Northern Nigeria.
The Authority strongly condemned these acts of terrorism as well as kidnapping and hostage-taking and expressed solidarity with the people of Mali and Nigeria in these difficult times.
Mr Kadre Desire Quedraogo, President of the ECOWAS Commission was presenting the finale communique at the end of the Extraordinary Session of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Accra.
The communique among others highlighted recent separatist attacks in Kidal, the Boko Haram menace in northern Nigeria as well as other security threats among ECOWAS member-states.
The Authority reaffirmed its determination to actively combat the threats posed by terrorism to regional and international peace and security, while endorsing the main recommendations contained in the various reports, the Heads of State and Government took.
He said on the security situation in Northern Mali, the Heads of State and Government condemned the deplorable acts of violence and killing perpetrated by separatist and terrorist groups in Kidal and its adjoining towns in the North as well as the hostage-taking and seizing of administrative buildings in that part of the Malian territory between 17 and 21 May 2014.
He said the Authority believes that the assassination of defenseless civil servants in the performance of their duties constitutes a flagrant and deliberate violation of the Ouagadougou Agreement.
Mr Quedraogo noted that the Authority has requested that the perpetrators of these atrocities are identified and punished according to the law.
He reaffirmed the Authority’s commitment to preserve the unity, territorial integrity and the secular nature of the Malian State and demands the immediate withdrawal of the armed groups from the public buildings and occupied areas, and return to the pre-17 May positions.
He said the Authority has invited the United Nations Security Council to enhance MINUSMA’s mandate and strength to enable it to carry out its mission as guarantor in the application of the Ouagadougou Agreement.
Mr Quedraogo stated that the Authority welcomed the initiatives of the United.
Nations and the Current African Union Chairman, President Mouhamed Ould Abdel Aziz, of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania for facilitating the signing of a ceasefire agreement between the Government and the non-state armed groups in Northern Mali on 23 May 2014.
The Authority urged all the stakeholders to strictly adhere to the ceasefire agreement and ensure its application, whilst the Malian Government, with support from the International Community, finds a political solution to the issues at stake.
On the security situation in northern Nigeria, the Authority welcomed the measures adopted by the Nigerian government to bring the insurgency to an end, particularly in the Northern States.
They encouraged President Goodluck Jonathan to continue to be steadfast in mobilizing all the forces in the country in order to put an urgent end to these acts of terrorism and commended the mobilization of the International Community behind Nigeria.
He said the Authority expressed its appreciation to France, the United States, the United Kingdom, People’s Republic of China, Israel, the African Union and the United Nations for their cooperation and support in the ongoing efforts to rescue the abducted Chibok’s schoolgirls by Boko Haram as well as in the ongoing fight against this terrorist group.
He said the Authority has commended President John Dramani Mahama, Current Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government for the steps taken to provide a regional response to the security challenge posed by the Boko Haram.
He said the Authority urged the Member States to strengthen their cooperation, particularly, in information sharing and in coordinating the efforts of intelligence services and in law enforcement.
Mr Quedraogo said the Authority has welcomed the successful conclusion of the transition process in Guinea Bissau, which resulted in the smooth holding of the general elections in transparent and peaceful conditions.
He said the summit commended Manuel Sérifo Nhamajo, Interim President, the Transitional Government, the Electoral Management Bodies, the political parties and the entire people of Guinea Bissau for their self-sacrifice and determination in bringing the transitional process to a successful end.
The Authority called for the forging of national consensus and mobilization of all the forces in the country towards the urgent post-electoral task in Guinea Bissau. The Heads of State and Government encouraged the incoming administration to adopt an all-inclusive governance system.
The Authority urged them to adopt and implement a comprehensive reform agenda, with the assistance of ECOWAS and all the International Community, encompassing national dialogue and reconciliation, economic recovery, reform of state’s institutions, and processes to sustain the stabilization and recovery efforts.