ECOWAS mulls meditation committee to pacify Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger   

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The sixth legislature of the Parliament of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is to constitute an ad-hoc mediation committee to work with all stakeholders in getting the three Member States that pulled out to rescind their decision.

This will enable the member states – Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso – to come home and work towards promoting dialogue with a view to resolving conflicts in the region. 

The First Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament and Deputy President of the Senate,  Jibrin Barau, made the disclosure at the opening of the 2024 2nd Extraordinary Session in Kano on Tuesday.

He said the decision was in line with the clarion call made by the President of the ECOWAS Commission for Parliament for urgent intervention in addressing pressing issues in the Community. 

“You may recall that in his address at the inaugural session, the President of the ECOWAS Commission made the clarion call for Parliament’s urgent intervention in addressing pressing issues in the Community.

“The President noted the urgency of joining ongoing efforts aimed at avoiding the disintegration of the regional bloc, which could happen with the departure of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. 

“We must heed to that call with all seriousness and be intentional about playing our roles for the millions of citizens being impacted by these conflicts.

“Against this backdrop, I will, in consultation with my colleagues on the Bureau, be proposing the appointment of an Ad hoc Mediation Committee whose mandate will be to work with all stakeholders in getting our brothers to rescind their decision and come home and work towards promoting dialogue with a view to resolving conflicts in the region. 

“It’s no doubt that we are stronger together and there is absolutely no alternative to our collective aspirations of a united, peaceful and secure ECOWAS,” Senator Jibrin said. 

He disclosed that a Parliamentary Fact-finding mission was dispatched to the Republic of Togo to ascertain circumstances surrounding the notable absence of the Togolese delegation, who, by virtue of the Supplementary Act on the Enhancement of the Powers of the Parliament, deserves the Speakership, and held discussions with national stakeholders on other political issues. 

“I am pleased to report that we received a very favorable response from the Togolese authorities that our brothers from Togo will be inaugurated as soon as possible,” he said. 

He also stressed a compelling need to build strong collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission and undertake joint initiatives aimed at strengthening regional security and advancing development. 

He restated the commitment of the parliament to continue to build strong collaboration with Community Institutions and Regional Parliaments with a view to promoting synergy for the realization of shared goals. 

Sen. Jibrin commended Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf for personally gracing the occasion. 

In his remarks, Governor Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf outlined six major point line problems disturbing the region for quick solutions, including issues of citizenship among the member states, regional security, regional integration, environmental and natural Resources issues are other viral problems that are disturbing the region and need to be taken into cognisance by the Parliament.

Governor Yusuf also cautioned against allowing some global powers from turning the region to a dumping ground for their finished goods, insisting that Africa is not a dumping ground for global markets.

“I’m aware of the impact of the ECOWAS region economic viability and the Parliament should do much to make their citizens more protective from the aggression of global dumps for goods,” he said.