Saturday, September 30

ECOMIG to Stay for Security of December Election, Says ECOWAS

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The 59th Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government that ended in Accra has confirmed the extension of the mandate of the ECOWAS Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG) to ensure the security of their December 2021 polls.

The final communique sanctioning the meeting states that “The Session extended the mandate of the ECOWAS Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG) to ensure the security of their December 2021 polls.”

The regional body’s Authority has also directed to “review the mandate and structure of the ECOMIG Mission in The Gambia to secure the upcoming December 2021 presidential elections and reaffirms its decision to modify the structure of ECOMIG after the Presidential election.”

During the 58th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government recently held in January via videoconference, it was agreed that the troops to constitute the ECOMIG Police Units would be filled by men from Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, and Togo who have agreed to contribute to the new mandate. The European Union will provide financial and technical support.

The Session, formally opened by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government was attended by all ECOWAS Member States except Mali. In that regard, the Session urged the Malian Transition Government to abide by the transition program and hand over power to an elected civilian administration in 2022.

The Accra Meeting adopted to reduce its current 15-member Commission to seven. The new seven-member structure Commission, which takes effect from March 2022, will consist of the President, the Vice President, and five other Commissioners. Former Nigerian President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan will chair the ECOWAS reconstituted Council of Wise for Preventive Diplomacy. The Council consists of 30 members, two from each of the 15-Member States of ECOWAS.

Regarding efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the West Africa region, the Session tasked the West African Health Organization (WAHO) to intensify its efforts in the local production of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Accra meeting agreed to launch the ECOWAS single currency, the Eco, by 2027.

The Session reaffirmed its commitment to intensify the fight against terrorism and insecurity in the Sahel.

To address piracy at sea, the Accra Meeting reiterated ECOWAS leaders’ commitment to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.

Abuja will host the next ECOWAS regular Session in December.