The participants at the just ended Special Mano River Union Diplomatic, Peace, Security and Democracy Conference on the political situation in Guinea have reiterated their grave concerns about the political situation in Guinea, particularly the unconstitutional removal from office of a democratically elected government, and thereby endorsed and reaffirmed the common position of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) and pledged support and commitment to the ECOWAS process and transition road map in Guinea as well as adopted the proposal by President George Manneh Weah for the establishment of the ECOWAS-AU-MRU mediation mission to resolve the crisis in Guinea.
The position of the regional leaders was contained in the communiqué issued at the conference which was held at the Farmington Hotel in Harbel City, Margibi County on Monday, November 22 and ended on Tuesday November 23 and signed by top officials from Guinea, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia
“The Conference welcomed the pronouncements and commitment of the National Transitional Council of Guinea to restore constitutional order and return power in the shortest possible time. The delegates further noted with keen interest the focus of the National Transitional Council to fight corruption, initiate reforms and strengthen institutions to sustain an irreversible transition to democracy, governance and constitutional rule in Guinea.
“The Conference adopted with great appreciation the policy framework and guide outlined in the keynote address of the President of the Republic of Liberia, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah who observed the historical threats to the peace, security and stability of the sub region and commended the MRU in its attempt to foster closer working relations with ECOWAS, AU, UNOWAS and other partners to revive the 15th Protocol of the MRU on Peace, Security and Defense; and that this MRU-ECOWAS collaboration should also support conflict management, resolution, peace building and political transformation in Guinea as an added impetus to the proposed revision of the ECOWAS supplementary protocol on Democracy and Good Governance of 2001.
“The Conference also adopted the proposal of H.E. the President of the Republic of Liberia where he called for a merged ECOWAS – AU – MRU Mission to be supported by the UN Peace Building Commission Fund and other international partners, which should be established to support the ECOWAS mediation effort in the current Guinean transitional arrangements being undertaken to prepare Guinea for democratic Elections and the return to Constitutional order. The Secretary General of the MRU was called upon to reach out to ECOWAS, AU, UN, United Nations PeaceBuilding Commission and other partners to foster stronger and more active partnership in peace building initiatives for the MRU, and specifically for its engagement in Guinea”, the communiqué said.
Other resolutions reached at the conference according to the communiqué that the National Committee for Reconciliation and Development(CNRD) be encouraged to comply with the ECOWAS transition roadmap, and to establish a clear process of transition; setting a timetable for the holding of free, fair and transparent elections and restoration of constitutional order, that the Mano River Union (MRU) engages the leaders of the National Committee of Reconciliation and Development (CNRD) in Guinea as well as ECOWAS in order to develop a framework for the return to constitutional rule and that ECOWAS, AU, UNOWAS and the Kingdom of Morocco serve as moral guarantors of the MRU’s complimentary supportive role of ECOWAS’ Agenda in Guinea.
Others are that a Joint Mission comprising the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Ministers of Defense, Chiefs of Defense Staff and the Secretary General of the Mano River Union (MRU) pay a visit to the Republic of Guinea as early as December 2, 2021 before the next ECOWAS Summit which convenes on December 12, 2021, that the MRU Secretariat works along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia to convene a summit of the Mano River Union in Monrovia, and encourage the leaders of the MRU to meet on the sidelines of the ECOWAS Summit in Abuja, 12 December 2021 prior to the Monrovia Summit and that the MRU reactivates the Peace and Security Unit and the actualization of the revised fifteenth (15th) protocol of the MRU Secretariat for the effective operationalization of the regular joint border security patrol. Sierra Leone offered to chair the operationalization of the Joint Security Committee and Border Patrols over the next 18 months
The other three decisions reached are that the Conference called on member states of the MRU and ECOWAS to continue to uphold the fundamental tenets and values enshrined in their charters to promote good governance, rule of law, respect for human rights and to fight corruption in all its forms, that the Joint Security Committee of the MRU be reactivated to enhance intelligence sharing and collaboration in the fight against terrorism and ensure security in the MRU and that requisite funds be mobilized to support the periodic meetings of all the structures indicated in the MRU revised fifteenth (15th) Protocol of Peace, Security and Defense.
“The Conference expressed deep and profound thanks and appreciation to H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia for the vision, which led to the MRU Secretariat, under the able leadership of H.E Amb. Medina A. Wesseh, in collaboration with the Liberian Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headed by Amb Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr. to organize and host the Mano River Union Diplomatic, Peace, Security and Democracy Conference”, the communiqué concluded
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr signed for Liberia, while Professor David J. Francis, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone and Alcide Djedje, Minister Delegate to the Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Diaspora, in Charge of African Integration of Cote d’Ivoire signed for their respective countries.