MONROVIA – (ECOWAS COMMISSION) – The Liberian Head of State, George Manneh Weah has assured the President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Jean-Claude Kassi Brou of his determination to work towards consolidating the peace, security and stability in the region.
The Liberian President, while receiving Jean-Claude Kassi Brou in Monrovia lately expressed concern over the political tensions in Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone and Togo which currently holds the office of Chairman of the regional organisation. He called on the Commission to find a peaceful end to these tensions, intimating him on the talks he was scheduled to have with the Sierra Leonean President, Julius Maada Bio on the crisis in the country’s parliament.
“It is imperative that Sierra Leonean political stakeholders hold discussions to iron out differences and avoid needless quarrels or outright war. War is a terrible thing and Sierra Leoneans should avoid its resurgence”, he noted.
He congratulated Jean-Claude Kassi Brou on his recent appointment as Head of ECOWAS Commission, commending the tireless efforts of the regional organisation in addressing the numerous security challenges facing its member – states.
In another development, the security challenges within the community were deliberated upon at various meetings between Jean-Claude Brou and the Liberian personalities, comprising the Speaker of the House of Representatives – Bhofal Chambers; the Senate leader – Albert Tugbe Chie and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court – Francis Korkpor Senior. They thanked their guest and applauded his sound leadership of ECOWAS Commission since assumption of office on March 1, 2018.
Speaking further, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou commended the strong collaboration of leaders of the various Liberian institutions which has contributed towards the peace in the country. He apprise his audience of the priority projects of ECOWAS such as the Common External Tariff (ECOWAS/CET); the Free Movement of Persons, Goods and Services; the Creation of the ECOWAS Single Currency by 2020; Support for Electoral Processes in Member States; and the Energy, Infrastructure, Transport as well as Gender Promotion initiatives among others.
He reiterated that the various projects are geared towards raising the standard of living of citizens of the 15 – Member States of ECOWAS.
Besides the leaders of the key Liberian government organs, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou also held talks with members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Liberia on issues relating to the security challenges in the region. Other matters discussed were the ECOWAS Priority Projects; the Presidential Elections Slated for 2018, 2019 and 2020 in about Six West African Countries; Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea and the Sahel; the Political Situation in Togo, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone.
On Sierra Leone, Jean-Claude informed the ambassadors of his visit to Freetown the previous week in the company of the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas which was in order to help the country find a peaceful resolution to the parliamentary crisis.
“There is need for the Sierra Leonean Government and the opposition to engage in dialogue” stressed Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, indicating ECOWAS’ readiness to help Member States find peaceful resolution to existing disputes. With respect to Togo, he recalled the decision of the Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government held on 14 April 2018 in Lome and the appointment of the Ghanaian President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Guinean Head of State, Alpha Conde as ECOWAS Mediators for a peaceful resolution of the socio-political tensions facing the country, with the support of the Commission of the regional organisation.
Jean-Claude Brou also shared updates on Guinea Bissau, including the appointment of Aristide Gomes as consensus Prime Minister by the Guinea Bissau President, Jose Mario Vaz, the legislative elections held and the opening of parliament. He further informed the audience of the high-level joint meeting of Ministers of Security and Agriculture / Animal Resources from ECOWAS Member States, Cameroun, Chad, Mauritania and the Central African Republic on pastoralism and cross-border transhumance which was held in Abuja Nigeria on 26th of April 2018. He espoused that the meeting was aimed at finding lasting solutions to the growing herder/farmer conflicts in West Africa and other regions of Africa.
The ECOWAS President’s meeting provided an opportunity to appreciate and commend the organisations and diplomatic missions accredited to Liberia for their invaluable efforts towards restoring and maintaining peace in the country. Accordingly, the oldest member of the diplomatic corps to Liberia, who is the Ambassador of Cameroon, Augustine Gang Beng’yela thanked the ECOWAS Commission President for his visit, commending the initiative taken to collaborate with them in the search for solutions to problems the hampering the development of West Africa.
Ahead of his meeting with members of the diplomatic corps, Jean-Claude Brou paid a courtesy visit to the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Liberia, Yacoub El Hillo. He was in the trip to the Monrovia meeting accompanied by his Resident Representative in Liberia, Tunde Ajisomo and the Ag. Director of Communication of ECOWAS, Liberor Doscof Aho.