Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama has called for “vigilance, attention and
more hard work” to consolidate the gains from efforts at returning Mali to
democracy and sustainable peace after last year’s military coup and rebel
insurrection in the north of the country.
Receiving a delegation of ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CCDS),
which paid him a courtesy visit at the Flagstaff House, Accra on Thursday, 27th
June 2013, he said with the imminent replacement of the African-led
International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) by a UN mission, MINUSMA on 1st
July, sustained support was needed to restore lasting peace to the country.
“Common security is an interconnected issue and since no country can go it
alone, there is no alternative than to work collectively,” the President
affirmed, adding that dialogue remains the best way for conflict resolution
while military option should be the last resort.
President Mahama expressed satisfaction at the progress being made in Mali and
Guinea Bissau, where ECOWAS is leading international efforts at crisis
resolution, but insisted that peace or democracy cannot thrive in a situation of
violence or insecurity.
He said the positive economic growth rate of between 5% and 6% being recorded by
many African countries will only sustained or surpassed if peace and security
The President said the ongoing 32nd Ordinary session of the CCDS in Accra could
not have come at a better time, given the myriad security challenges facing the
region, including piracy, all of which, he noted must be addressed through
strategic and coordinated efforts.
The CCDS chair and Cote d’Ivoire’s Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Soumaila
Bakayoko, who led the delegation to the State House, told the President that
issues dominating the Accra meeting included the re-hating of AFISMA; the
ECOWAS-supported defence and security sector reform in Guinea Bissau ahead of
the country’s national elections, as well as maritime security threats in the
Gulf of Guinea.
Also on the delegation to the Flagstaff House were the ECOWAS Commissioner for
Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, the
ECOWAS Special Representative in Mali and Deputy Head of AFISMA, Ambassador
Cheichk Toure, and the Force Commanders of AFISMA and ECOMIB, the ECOWAS Mission
in Guinea Bissau.