Nigeria’s President Tinubu Elected Chairman of ECOWAS, Pledges Commitment to Democracy and Stability

Nigeria’s President Tinubu Elected Chairman of ECOWAS, Pledges Commitment to Democracy and Stability

…By Roland Peterson for TDPel Media. At a summit held in Bissau on Sunday, July 9, 2023, West African heads of state unanimously chose Nigeria’s newly elected President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to lead the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the upcoming year, replacing Guinea-Bissau’s Umaro Sissoco Embalo.

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The decision was reported by journalists from AFP (Agence France-Presse).

Tinubu’s Commitment to Democracy and Stability

Following his appointment as ECOWAS chairman, President Tinubu expressed his belief that democracy is the optimal form of government, despite acknowledging the challenges it poses in terms of management.

He emphasized the importance of setting an example for the rest of Africa and the world and pledged to prevent a continuous cycle of coups in West Africa.

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This is particularly significant considering that three ECOWAS member countries—Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso—have experienced five coups since 2020.

Sanctions Threats for Ruling Juntas and Mali’s Situation

ECOWAS Commission President Urges Respect for Transition Deadlines

Omar Alieu Touray, the president of the ECOWAS commission, called upon ruling juntas in Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso to adhere to the agreed-upon deadlines for handing power back to civilian leaders.

Touray cautioned that failure to meet the transition deadlines could lead to the imposition of significant sanctions on these countries.

UEMOA Lifts Suspension on Mali

On Saturday, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) made the decision to lift the suspension imposed on Mali in January 2022.

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This action was taken due to the military’s commitment to a timeline for returning to civilian rule.

ECOWAS had previously imposed various measures on Mali but lifted them in July 2022 after the junta agreed to a transition to civilian rule by March 2024.

Focus on Security in Mali and Economic Integration

ECOWAS Establishes Commission to Address Security in Mali

President Touray announced that ECOWAS has established a commission tasked with exploring security options in Mali as the United Nations concludes its peacekeeping mission, which has spanned a decade.

The commission has been granted 90 days to reflect and formulate proposals.

Mali has been grappling with a jihadist insurgency since 2012, which has subsequently spread to Burkina Faso and Niger.

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President Tinubu’s Vision for Inclusive Economic Integration

President Tinubu, who assumed office as the President of Africa’s largest economy in May, affirmed that ECOWAS members will pursue inclusive economic integration in the coming year.

He issued a warning to exploiters, emphasizing that the people of West Africa have endured enough suffering.

Tinubu expressed solidarity with the region and pledged Nigeria’s commitment to the collective progress of ECOWAS.

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