An urgent session of the Mediation and Security Council (MSC) at Ministerial Level convened at the of the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, Nigeria, to address the recent decisions of three member states to withdraw from the regional bloc.
Chaired by Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, the meeting expressed profound concern over the withdrawal announcements, which came from three military-led West African nations on January 28, 2024. These countries accused ECOWAS of posing a threat to its members and of failing to provide adequate support in combating terrorism and insecurity, while also alleging the imposition of illegal and inhumane sanctions.
During the extraordinary session, President of the ECOWAS Commission, Touray, emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating that the unfolding events in the region pose significant threats to peace and political stability in the West African community. He underscored the importance of unity within ECOWAS, highlighting that the reasons cited for withdrawal lacked merit and failed to consider the implications for their citizens.
Minister Tuggar, echoing President Touray’s sentiments, described the meeting as crucial in addressing the challenges presented by the withdrawal decisions. He emphasized the necessity for ECOWAS to remain committed to principles of democratic governance and the safeguarding of people’s rights to freely elect their leaders.
Comprising Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence from ECOWAS Member States, the extraordinary gathering of the Mediation and Security Council underscored the urgent need to find solutions to the current crisis while upholding the foundational principles of the regional body.