ECOWAS Heads of state

Ghana’s President and the chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on his colleague Heads of State to ensure that they deal decisively with the political situation in Guinea.

The sub-regional bloc met in Accra yesterday in an extraordinary summit to force the military regime to return the country to constitutional rule.

Elected President Alpha Conde, was removed from power in a military coup led by the head of the country’s Special Forces Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.

The elite Special Forces unit stormed the presidential palace in the capital, Conakry, detaining the 82-year-old President.

Hours later, coup leader Colonel Mamady Doumbouya appeared on state broadcaster Radio Television Guineenne, draped in the Guinean flag, introducing himself to surprised Guineans as the country’s new leader.

In his opening statement at the extraordinary session, President Akufo-Addo condemned the coup and called for full restoration of the democratic order.

He indicated the bloc is in solidarity with the people of Guinea and is working to ensure the peace, prosperity and unity of Guinea.

“We have gathered here to take a firm decision on Guinea and I trust Excellencies to come up with a durable solution to the crisis because the decision will have long term consequences on the stability and defence of democratic values of the region” he said.

President Akufo-Addo said he was confident that the leaders will rise to the occasion to ensure Mali returns to democratic governance.

“We are required to take informed decisions on these matters that would have long term consequences to the stability and the defence of democratic values of our region.

“I count on you your Excellencies to help proffer durable solutions to the crisis. I am confident that as in the past, we will rise to the occasion” the ECOWAS Chair said.

Alpha Conde in 2010 became Guinea’s first democratically elected leader, his victory was seen as putting an end to decades of authoritarian rule by the country’s two first Presidents, Sekou Toure and Lansana Conte, who were in office for 26 and 24 years respectively.

Participation and agenda

Overall, eight presidents, one vice-president and three foreign ministers attended the ECOWAS extraordinary summit.
As part of the agenda for the meeting, ECOWAS Heads of State and Government received and gave consideration to the report of the High-Level Mission to the Republic of Guinea which was led by the chairperson of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers and Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey.

They were also presented with an update on the transition in the Republic of Mali by the ECOWAS Mediator on Mali, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Heads of State were supposed to issue a final communique on the reports at the time of going to the press

High-level mission

The High-level four-member mission appointed by ECOWAS Heads of State to assess the political situation in the republic of Guinea included Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the Republic of Ghana and Chairperson of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers.

It comprised, Jean Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission, Alpha Barry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, African Integration and Burkinabè Abroad and Robert Dussey, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and Togolese Abroad.