Withdrawal of Mali, Burkina Faso and others will affect the Accra Initiative – Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo has expressed concern about the withdrawal of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and its subsequent impact on the Accra Initiative.

He said their departure would impact the cohesion of the Accra Initiative, a regional security arrangement aimed at combating terrorism.

As the immediate past Chairman of ECOWAS, President Akufo-Addo emphasised the urgency of addressing this issue without delay. He stressed the importance of prompt action to prevent any further destabilization of the initiative.

Speaking at the High-Level African Counter-Terrorism Meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, President Akufo-Addo called on all member states of ECOWAS to engage in dialogue with Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger and encourage their return to the fold.

President Akufo-Addo emphasised the need for unity among ECOWAS member states to strengthen regional security efforts.

He reaffirmed Ghana’s commitment to the Accra Initiative and pledged to do everything possible to ensure its benefits are extended to all West African countries.

According to him, the success of the initiative depends on collective action and cooperation among member states.

Insisting on the seriousness of the situation, President Akufo-Addo described the issue as a “self-help move,” emphasising that all involved parties must take it seriously to prevent its failure.

President Akufo-Addo stressed the importance of maintaining dialogue and engagement to address the concerns of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger.

“Indeed, a case in point for countries cooperating to tackle the menace of terrorism can be found in the Accra Initiative comprising originally seven nations from West Africa notably the Republics of Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Togo and the Federal Republic of Nigeria set to become a full member of the Initiative.”

“The main objective of the Accra Initiative is to strengthen operational collaboration between member states to prevent terrorist extremists from taking refuge in a member state and this will prevent and combat radicalisation and violent extremism and fight against transnational organised crime.”

“It is essentially a self-help organisation of member states who feel directly threatened by the down-driven activities of terrorists from the Sahel towards West Africa.”

“Unfortunately, the recent withdrawal of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger from ECOWAS to form a so-called alliance of Sahelian States is bound to undermine the cohesion of the Accra Initiative and will require prompt reflection on the way forward of the Initiative,” he said.

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Source: myjoyonline.com