President Dr Julius Maada Bio has addressed the 60th Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government, reaffirming his support for a return to democracy in Guinea, Conakry.
“Sierra Leone firmly endorses ECOWAS’ mediation efforts for both a return to constitutional order and democratic transition roadmaps for both Guinea and Mali.
“We remain firmly committed to and endorse the efforts of the ECOWAS Commission and the Authority of Heads of State to ensure stability and peace in the ECOWAS region,” he said.
The President also disclosed that his government’s bilateral engagement with the leadership of the National Committee of Reconciliation and Development (CRND) in Guinea was focused on supporting a return to constitutional order and security cooperation between two nations that shared a long border.
“From the Mano River Union (MRU) Diplomatic, Peace, Security & Democracy Conference convened in Monrovia by my brother and colleague, H.E. President George Manneh Weah, the MRU Communique also complements, supports, re-affirms, and endorses the ECOWAS mediation process and transition agenda for the restoration of constitutional order in Guinea,” he said.
He also added that a high-level MRU delegation had since engaged Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, the CNRD military leadership, on the imperative for sub-regional security cooperation and joint border patrols.
“I, therefore, urge colleague Heads of State to mandate the MRU to play a complementary support role to the ECOWAS process in Guinea.
“Excellencies, we recall consensus by the Authority of Heads of State for the Commission to commence a review of the revised supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance as it relates to the contentious issue of third term mandates and arbitrary changes to electoral laws.
“I urge the Commission to commence a time-bound review of the supplementary protocol in order to restore public trust and confidence in ECOWAS’ commitment to supporting stable, timely, and legitimate democratic transitions,” he urged.
President Bio used the occasion to commend efforts by ECOWAS to support Cape Verde and The Gambia to conduct free, fair, transparent, and credible elections.