ABUJA – ECOWAS leaders have met in an extraordinary session to review the political situation in Guinea Bissau and the security situation in the region, particularly in northern Mali and northern Nigeria.
A statement from Mr Sunny Ugoh, the ECOWAS spokesperson, in Abuja on Sunday said the meeting was held in Accra on May 30.
The statement said the heads of state and governments expressed deep concern with the recent deterioration in the security situation in the Kidal region of Mali.
It said the authority reaffirmed its determination to actively combat the threats posed by terrorism to regional and international peace and security.
“The heads of states and governments strongly condemned the deplorable acts of violence and killings perpetrated by separatist and terrorist groups in Kidal and its adjoining towns in the north.”
It said the summit renewed its support to the government and people of Mali in ensuring economic reconstruction, consolidation of peace, national unity and territorial integrity of the country.
The summit also appealed to the international community, partners and donors to continue to support the efforts, especially in humanitarian assistance to displaced people and refugees in neighboring states.
On the security situation in Nigeria, it said the authority also expressed concern with the bloody and recurrent attacks perpetrated particularly by the Boko Haram sect in parts of northern Nigeria.
The statement commended the mobilisation of the international community behind Nigeria and also encouraged the Nigerian government to pursue national dialogue and reconciliation.
The authority further commended the positive outcome of the May 17 Paris Summit on the security situation in Nigeria.
The statement said the authority urged member states to strengthen their cooperation particularly in information sharing, in coordinating the efforts of intelligence services and in law enforcement.
The authority strongly condemned the acts of terrorism as well as kidnapping and hostage-taking, and expressed solidarity with Mali and Nigeria in the difficult times, it stated.
On Guinea Bissau, he authority commended the smooth holding of the general elections in transparent and peaceful conditions, it added. (NAN)