ECOWAS Emergency Meeting, ECOWAS Foreign Ministers are currently gathering in Abuja in an unprecedented emergency session to discuss the political situation in Senegal as well as the ongoing ECOWAS departure issue with three military administrations in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger.
ECOWAS Emergency Meeting on Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, Kicks off Today in Abuja
In Senegal, President Macky Sall’s surprise decision to postpone elections scheduled for February 25, 2024, barely a week after the three military administrations of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger declared their exit from ECOWAS, is a further blow to the already troubled organization.
According to a statement issued today by the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Department, the “ministers will discuss current security and political issues in the region”.
It is unclear, however, whether ECOWAS will be successful in preventing President Sall from holding the scheduled polls on February 25th, as stipulated in the country’s electoral calendar.
It is also unclear whether the four countries, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, which are being discussed at the current ECOWAS ministerial conference in Abuja, are present.
Senegal is the latest problem that ECOWAS does not need at this time of impending chaos that has beset the 50-year-old organization. ECOWAS was founded in Lagos in 1975, spearheaded by Nigeria’s then-President Yakubu Gowon.
Senegal, once a beacon and bastion of democracy in West Africa, has now joined the list of countries that have witnessed constitutional coups.
Last Monday, President Sall startled Senegal by postponing the much-anticipated elections. Observers believe the postponement is partly owing to the impending defeat of his handpicked successor, Ahmadu Ba, whose support has greatly diminished and dispersed.
ECOWAS, the US government, and several other countries have all sharply opposed the postponement.
The ECOWAS emergency ministerial meeting today in Abuja precedes the meeting of the Authority of Heads of States, which will take place tomorrow, to discuss the ongoing issues in these four West African countries.