Macky Sall, the president of neighbouring Senegal who also doubles as the chairman of ECOWAS, has called for tranquility during presidential elections due to be held in October in three regional countries, namely Ivory Coast, Guinea and Burkina Faso.
While delivering his opening remarks, Sall reminded the heads of states and governments of the 16-member regional group that free and fair elections are an important part of the region’s attempts to maintain peace.
“The conduct of electoral processes remains an important step for the preservation of peace and stability in our space,” the Senegalese leader said.
An ECOWAS extraordinary summit which brought together heads of states and governments of West African nations has begun in the Senegalese capital of Dakar on Saturday.
Media reports said the summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) , aims to discuss the current security and political issues in the region.
Senegalese President Macky Sall, said, “Terrorism tops the list of the challenges to be addressed” while reaffirming his solidarity with Nigeria and other countries engaged in the fight against Boko Haram.
Eight West African leaders are attending the summit, including Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast, Benin’s Thomas Yayi Boni, Togolese Faure Gnassingbe, Alpha Conde of Guinea, Guinea-Bissau’s Jose Mario Vaz, Mali’s Ibrahima Boubacar Keita, Michel Kafando of Burkina Faso and Senegalese Macky Sall.
High on the agenda of the conference is the crisis in Guinea-Bissau along with the UN Conference on Climate Change due to be held later this year in Paris, France.
The delegates to the summit warned that chronic instability in Guinea-Bissau was threatening gains made on its economy.
The coup-plagued country has been in political turmoil since President Jose Mario Vaz fired Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira on August 12 over a series of disputes, including the naming of a new army chief.
The impoverished nation’s new Premier Baciro Dja was forced to resign just three weeks into the job on Wednesday when the country’s Supreme Court declared that his appointment had been unconstitutional.
ECOWAS is a regional group with a mandate to promote economic integration in all fields of activity by member states.