The few rare images illustrating the presence at the opening of the Session of representatives of the former regime of Bazoum Mohamed were carried in triumph on social networks by their supporters and unconditional supporters but also by detractors who see them that way. a new provocation of the community organization which has in principle suspended the country. We see in the images and in the place reserved for the Niger delegation, the former Prime Minister Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou as well as, seated behind, the former ministers Hassoumi Massaoudou, former head of diplomacy, and that of trade, Alkache Alhada. Dignitaries of the old regime who have been in exile since the coup d’état last July and who made the trip for the occasion.
Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou 64th ECOWAS Summit
However, during the pose of the official photo of this Summit, no representative of Niger was invited to take the traditional “selfie” of circumstance as is the case during the previous summits of July 30 and August 10 where the The former Minister of Foreign Affairs did indeed appear in the background of the official pose. In a context where every detail counts and gives rise to various interpretations, this absence obviously did not go unnoticed, just like that in Abuja of presidents Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast, Patrice Talon of Benin and Macky Sall of Senegal.
Important decisions expected, particularly on the situation in Niger
As was to be expected, the political situation in Niger will be one of the major subjects of this Summit which will also examine the evolution of the state of the sub-region with the transitions in Mali, Burkina Faso and in Guinea Conakry, the security situation in the Sahel as well as the attempts at institutional destabilization recorded in recent days in Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone. The economic situation as well as the prospects for the integration dynamic will also be on the menu of this last summit of the year of West African leaders.
Several speeches marked the opening ceremony of the Summit. After the introductory words of the President of the Commission, Omar Alieu Touray, the President of Nigeria and current President of ECOWAS took the floor to deliver his welcome speech and official opening of the Summit in which Ahmed Bola Tinubu returned to the events which have marked recent development in the community space as well as the proposals for ending the crisis in order to support the dynamic of sub-regional integration. The head of state of the leading economic power of ECOWAS has in this sense called for the resumption of negotiations with the military regimes for short transitions in order to achieve a rapid return to normal constitutional order with elections which will take place. bring elected leaders to power and thus guarantee the conditions of stability and prosperity for all member countries and the community as a whole.
The representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr Leonardo Santos Simao, was also invited to speak during the opening ceremony to remind heads of state of the multiple challenges facing the region.
In accordance with the agenda, the ECOWAS heads of state and government present in Abuja subsequently withdrew for closed-door work during which they will take note of the various reports from the mediators and the task force. force on the free movement of people and goods in the sub-regional space. During this conclave, the President of the Commission will present his report on the State of the Community and the head of Nigerien diplomacy, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tugagar, will present to West African leaders the conclusions and recommendations of the 51st Session of the Peace and Mediation Council (CPM) as well as those of the 91st ordinary session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers.
The Summit will end in the afternoon with the adoption of decisions by the Heads of State which will be followed by the reading of the final communiqué as well as a press conference by the President in office as well as that of the Commission of the ECOWAS.
It should be noted that in addition to the United Nations and the African Union, several powers sent their representatives to Abuja, such as the European Union (EU) and France, but also and especially the United States with the presence in the Nigerian capital for two days of the Under-Secretary of State for African Affairs, Catherine Molly Phee, who has already started behind-the-scenes mediation on the political situation in Niger.
This article is originally published on actuniger.com