Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio has reminded the ECOWAS Commission via a video conference on Monday that there is an urgent need for a peaceful settlement to the political crisis in Mali, while extending his deepest gratitude for its mediation missions.
He was addressing the Extraordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), noting that maintaining peace and stability in the region was critical for the collective development agenda of the region.
“Our democratic credentials in the region are being challenged. Sierra Leone stands with the rest of ECOWAS on fostering and maintaining a culture of democracy across the region.
“Excellencies, may I reiterate that it is highly important to maintain peace and order in Mali. Extremist terrorist activity in the North of Mali has spread to neighbouring Niger, Burkina Faso, and further threatens the security of the entire region,” he warned.
The President also commended the President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, Vice President Madam Finda Koroma; Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, General Francis A. Behanzin; and, Heads of ECOWAS Institutions and agencies for their continued dedication and commitment.
“In line with the views expressed, Sierra Leone condemns all forms of violence and urges all concerned parties to consider the recommendations put forward by the mediation team led by Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Additionally, Sierra Leone urges strong support for a more robust mandate for MINUSMA.
“Sierra Leone reaffirms its commitment to and support for a peaceful resolution in Mali and encourages President Keita and all other parties to adhere to the decisions of this extraordinary session within an agreed timeline,” he urged.
President Bio concluded by suggesting that in order to maintain good governance, peace, and security in the ECOWAS region it was important to resolve the current socio-political crisis in Mali without delay.