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West Africa This Week

By Conflict Resolution, Weekly ECOWAS Region UpdatesNo Comments

A Weekly Highlight on Political, Security, Socio-Political and Health Happenings Across the West African Region


Burkina Faso and Mali – 18th July to 22nd July 2022


BURKINA FASO


Political Dynamics

Former ruling party reawakens
The National Political Bureau of the People’s Movement for Progress (Mouvement du peuple pour le progress – MPP), held its first ordinary session1 this year on July 16 at the Palais de la Jeunesse et de la Culture in Ouagadougou. During the session, the deteriorating security situation of the country and the increased number of IDPs were some of the focal areas of discussion. While renewing its unwavering support for the Defense and Security Forces (FDS) and the Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland (VDP) in the fight against insecurity, MPP invited its supporters to unite and work together for the strengthening and revival of the Party. The party is expected to take all appropriate measures to strengthen unity and cohesion and revitalize the life of the Party’s statutory structures at all organizational levels of the MPP, through field trips. Risks on Security and Socio-political Dynamics CODEL set to continue electoral education


The Convention of Civil Society Organizations for the Observation of Elections (CODEL)
launched its project of “citizen watch and monitoring for good electoral governance in Burkina
Faso”, on July 21 in Ouagadougou. The project, which stems from the disruption to democratic
processes by the coup d’état of January 24, will be implemented over a period of three (03) months
for awareness creation among the population on the various recommendations of observation
missions in future elections. It will also serve as an opportunity to call on the authorities to clean
up the electoral process for better governance in Burkina Faso.


Project activities will be carried out mainly in the central region, particularly in Ouagadougou. The flagship activities include a capitalization meeting on the recommendations resulting from the 2015 and 2020 electoral observations, a forum on electoral corruption and the illicit financing of political parties, advocacy and communications on electoral reforms.
Barkhane in Ouagadougou


For the full report of the session and the party’s activities before and during the coup, please see [2]


More details can be found at [3]

At a press briefing organized by the Commander of the Barkhane Force, General Laurent Michon on July 21 in Ouagadougou, to mark the end of his mission in the Sahel, the Commander presented the results and prospects of the French military system in the Sahel region. Commenting on the withdrawal of Takuba and the Barkhane troop in Mali, he distanced the decision from the presence of Wagner but rather linked it to goodwill and hope for the political stability of the region.


MALI
Political Dynamics
ECOWAS Mediator praises the transition process
The ECOWAS Mediator, former Nigerian President Goodluck JONATHAN, was in Bamako from July 20 to 21 to monitor and evaluate the Transition process. During his 48-hour stay, he met with the Malian authorities and members of the local Transition monitoring committee4. It would be recalled that the noteworthy progress made by the transition government enhanced the recent lifting of economic and financial sanctions by ECOWAS and WAEMU. However, ECOWAS had upheld other sanctions such as Mali’s suspension from decision-making institutions, until a peaceful return to constitutional order was attained. Mandated to continue exchanges with Malian authorities, the Mediator noted the resumption of economic activities in post-sanction Mali upon his arrival at the airport. He acknowledged the progress made by the authorities and hoped that it will be maintained for the organization of the elections to allow the democratically elected government to take the reins of the country.


The case of the 49 Ivorian soldiers in Mali
Following the arrest of 49 Ivorian soldiers on arrival in Mali, explanations from the Ivorian end linked the arrested soldiers to a UN procedure allowing peacekeeping contingents to call on external contractors for logistical support, the National Support Elements (NSE). However, the Malian authorities regarded the soldiers as mercenaries, and have consequently suspended all rotations of the military and police contingents of the United Nations Mission in Mali (UNMIS), including those already scheduled, the foreign ministry said in a statement. The suspension is effective until the organization of a meeting to facilitate the coordination and regulation of the rotation of these contingents. As a result, 8 soldiers of the German army who had reserved their flights for July 14 were prevented from leaving Malian territory [5].
However, before the expected meeting could even ensue, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations in Mali was invited by the Malian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 20, to be notified that after the discussions between both teams, a series of biased [6] and unacceptable publications on Twitter by the Spokesperson of MINUSMA, Olivier Salgado,
(as stated by the Malian authorities) has led to new developments regarding the case.

In a Communique [6] by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs dated July 20, Mr. Olivier Salgado was given 72 hours to leave Mali having not been able to present proof of the assertions contained in his tweet, or make the necessary correction demanded by the Malian authorities. Olivier Salgado, a UN diplomat and spokesperson for MINUSMA is the third individual (excluding the Barkhane and Takuba forces) to be declared persona non grata in Mali. Others before him are Hamidou Bolly the ECOWAS representative in Mali, and Jöel Meyer, the French Ambassador to Mali.


Monitoring the reactions of Malians on Twitter to this decision by the government, it appears the decision is welcomed with pride and relief for majority. MINUSMA also acknowledged and regretted the decision, while reiterating to continue to work towards the implementation of its mandate in support of peace and security in Mali


Clarifications on all current military operations demanded
Given the inconsistencies surrounding the “49 Ivorian mercenaries” case, the Malian authorities decided to clarify all the military operations in progress in the country, starting with MINUSMA operations. Thus, after the suspension which took effect from July 14, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation requested a coordination meeting between the Malian structures concerned and the MINUSMA to facilitate the coordination and regulation of the rotation of contingents operating within the MINUSMA. And so, on July 12, the Malian government addressed a correspondence to MINUSMA asking for all the necessary documents on its contingents and contractors or co-contractors in Mali; the clarification of the legal or contractual links between the Ivorian soldiers concerned, Sahel Aviation Service and the German contingent of MINUSMA; as well as an update on the numbers of the National Support Elements, together with the precision of their places of deployment and the missions entrusted to them MINUSMA provides clarifications On July 22, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation

Mission in Mali
(MINUSMA) transmitted the information requested by the Malian authorities as follows:


1) Clarification on the legal or contractual links between the Ivorian military personnel who arrived in Bamako on 10 July 2022, Sahel Aviation Service and the German contingent of MINUSMA. [7]
MINUSMA notes that the Ivorian elements were deployed to Sénou (Bamako) to provide security at the German NSE base in Sénou, instead of Timbuktu where the Ivorian contingent of MINUSMA is based. It appears that certain procedures were not followed


The communique can be found here https://t.co/SasAXMWbmg
and the Mission is trying to better understand how these malfunctions could have occurred in order to avoid their recurrence in the future.


2) Contractual, sub-contractual relationship between the German contingent and third parties MINUSMA is not aware of any contract between Germany and third parties for the protection of the German base in NSE. Measures have already been taken to strengthen the management of NSE


3) Number and location of NSE in MINUSMA UN policies allow TCCs and PCCs to deploy NSEs to provide services to their contingents in a national capacity

Each contingent is responsible for informing MINUSMA on a monthly basis of the number of its national support elements deployed. According to the contingents’ declarations, as of June 2022, the total number of NSEs in Mali is 609, including 471 supporting the German contingent, 33 Bangladeshis, 7 Cambodians, 5 Chadians, 60 British, 4 Sri Lankans, and 29 Swedes.


MINUSMA has not been informed of the presence and number of NSE from Côte d’Ivoire. However, by cross-checking internal documents, MINUSMA estimates the Ivorian detachment to be 50 men and women. MINUSMA has initiated a census of NSE in all its contingents, in order to obtain accurate figures. The Mission will share the findings of its verification once it is complete. The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali thanks the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Mali for its kind cooperation and takes this opportunity to renew the assurances of its highest consideration.


This new statement is clearly an indication that MINUSMA/United Nations has retraced its steps in the case of the 49 soldiers arrested on Sunday July 10, 2022, in Mali. From the statement, there were indeed malfunctions in the procedure, as contrary to the Ivorian statement on the case, this Note Verbale from MINUSMA clarifies that “the 49 Ivorian soldiers arrested in Bamako are not national elements supporting the Minusma contingents” but, by cross-checking internal documents, MINUSMA estimates that the Ivorian detachment amounts to 50 men and women. Although MINUSMA has informed the Malian authorities “to have initiated a census of the NSE in all its contingents, in order to obtain its verifications once they are established”, could the Malian reasons behind the arrest of the 49 Ivorian soldiers be viable?

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Highlights on West Africa This Week

By Blog, Conflict Resolution, Weekly ECOWAS Region Updates2 Comments

A weekly update on political, security, socio-political and health events across the West African region

In the week under review, our focus is on the outcomes of the 61st Ordinary Session of the
Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS) held on July 3 2022 at Accra, Ghana, and the impact on ECOWAS Member
States.


Key outcomes of the ECOWAS Summit of July 3, 2022
On terrorism in the region, specifically in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria and the
expansion to Benin and Togo, these attacks were strongly condemned while the Authority
expressed solidarity with the affected Member States and populations. The Authority reaffirmed
its determination to combat relentlessly the scourge of terrorism, to strengthen the operational
and logistical capacities of the forces in the frontline countries through the 2022-2024 Action
Plan and to promote development programmes and humanitarian support in the affected areas.
To that effect, Member States were encouraged to fulfil their pledges on the voluntary
contributions into the dedicated fund to support the implementation of the 2020 – 2024 Action
Plan.


On Burkina Faso, a progress report was presented by the mediator, former President of Niger,
Mahamadou Issoufou. The ECOWAS Authority acknowledged the proposal by the Transition
Authorities for the establishment of a joint Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism with
ECOWAS to accompany the Transition process, the release of President Roch Marc Christian
KABORE and the new proposed timetable set at 24 months from 1st July 2022. Therefore, the
economic and financial sanctions adopted on 25 March were lifted while the suspension of the
country from all ECOWAS decision-making bodies was upheld.


On Guinea, the unacceptability of the 36-month transition timetable announced by the Guinean
Authorities was reiterated. In response to the Transition’s renouncement of Dr. Mohammed Ibn
Chambas as the ECOWAS Mediator to Guinea, the Authority appointed H.E. Yayi BONI,
former President of the Republic of Benin as the new ECOWAS Mediator to Guinea. The new
mediator is expected to work with the Transition Authorities to arrive at an acceptable transition
timetable for the transition latest by 1st August 2022, after which economic and financial
sanctions and targeted sanctions will be enforced if no acceptable transition timetable is
presented. Furthermore, Guinea remains suspended from all ECOWAS decision-making bodies.
On Mali, the economic and financial sanctions previously imposed by the Commission on
January 9 were lifted: the closure of the land and air borders between ECOWAS Member States
and Mali; the suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS
Member States and Mali; the freezing of the assets of the Republic of Mali domiciled in the
Central Banks and Commercial Banks of all ECOWAS Member States; the freezing of the assets

For the full report of the Summit

please see https://ecowas.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/UK_Final-
Communique-Summit-July-2022-VF.pdf

of public and parastatal enterprises of the Republic of Mali domiciled in commercial banks of all
ECOWAS Member States; the suspension of all financial assistance and transactions in favour of
Mali by ECOWAS Financial Institutions, particularly EBID and BOAD.
Although the Ambassadors of ECOWAS Member States to Mali were to resume duties, Mali’s
suspension from the ECOWAS decision-making bodies and individual sanctions against
individuals and groups were maintained pending progress reports on the transition to democracy.
A joint monitoring and follow-up mechanism for the implementation of the transition timetable
with agreed benchmarks was also established. The Heads of State reiterated the non-candidacy of
members of the transition authority in the elections organized for the return to constitutional
order.


On the appointment of new statutory appointees of ECOWAS Institutions, taking cognizance of
the end of tenure of the statutory appointees on June 30, new appointments were initiated during
the summit. The Gambia which was allocated the position of President of the ECOWAS
Commission, with Dr. Omar Alieu Touray appointed as the President of the ECOWAS
Commission for a four-year term with effect from 11th July 2022. Togo’s Ms. Damtien
Tchintchibidja emerged as the Vice-President. The President of Guinea Bissau, Umaro Sissoco
Embalo was elected the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government
for a one-year term.


The outcomes of the Summit were welcomed by the United States through a press statement

2. Particularly the agreement between ECOWAS and Mali on a 24-month transition timeline
starting in March 2022, the Burkina Faso transition government’s proposal to ECOWAS for a
two-year transition timeline to return Burkina Faso to democratically elected, civilian-led
governance, and the release of President Roch Marc Christian Kabore. They urged the transition
government in Guinea to move the country quickly toward a constitutional, civilian-led
democracy through a transparent and consultative process. They commended the leadership of
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo over the past year and welcomed the election of Bissau-
Guinean President Umaro Embalo, while expressing the United States’ commitment to
supporting ECOWAS and the transition governments of Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso as they
navigate their paths toward responsive democratic governance.
In reaction to the lifting of sanctions, Malians have expressed joy over ECOWAS decision in the
hope that their country’s economy would improve

3 .BURKINA FASO

Political Dynamics
Former President Roch Marc Kabore is released

The Statement can be found here https://www.state.gov/on-the-ecowas-summit/
https://www.africanews.com/2022/07/05/mali-reacts-to-lifting-of-sanctions-by-ecowas/

As part of the dynamics of strengthening social cohesion and national reconciliation in the
country, the Government has reaffirmed the total release of the former Head of State, Roch
Kabore. This was announced in a Communique by the governing authorities

4 . His freedom was also confirmed by the former Alliance of the parties of the presidential majority (Ex-APMP)

5 .Activists and supporters of the former presidential majority (APMP) paid a courtesy visit to him
on July 6 at his home in Ouagadougou. They used the opportunity to reaffirm their loyalty to the
former president deposed by the military on January 24, and to assure the general public of the
soundness of his mind and shape

6 .72nd Ordinary session of the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP)
The members of the National Political Bureau of the Congress for Democracy and Progress
(CDP Futurist Wing) held the 72nd ordinary session of their party on July 2 in Ouagadougou

7 .During the meeting, discussions revolved around the party’s internal crisis and the party’s
receipt. The party president, Eddie Komboigo asks the transitional authorities to respect the
administrative rules and enhance the issuance of the document. The party also congratulated
members how refused to leave the party, especially those claiming to belong to the historical
wing of the party. He reminded the party members of their objective which is the conquest of
power to soothe the pain of the people of Burkina Faso. He also called for unity among party
members.


The ECOWAS Mediator to Burkina Faso meets President Damiba
The ECOWAS Mediator for Burkina Faso, Mahamadou ISSOUFOU met the Transition
President on July 2, ahead of the ECOWAS Summit on July 3. He also met the Prime Minister
and certain members of the government, representatives of political parties, religious authorities,
the National Youth Council, and a delegation from the Francophonie. The report of his visit was
presented at the ECOWAS summit

8 .Burkina Faso strengthens its relationship with the Republic of Chile
Personalities from the Republic of Chile including Alex Wetzig, Secretary General for Foreign
Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile and Ambassador of Chile in Addis Ababa met
Excellency Sylvain Yaméogo, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative, on July 4

9 . The exchange meeting, part of a bilateral framework of mutual support, served as an avenue for


The communique can be found here; https://burkina24.com/2022/07/03/le-gouvernement-reaffirme-la-liberation-totale-de-roch-marc-christian-kabore/
https://burkina24.com/2022/07/03/roch-marc-christian-kabore-effectivement-libre-selon-lex-alliance-des-partis-de-la-majorite-presidentielle-ex-apmp/

https://burkina24.com/2022/07/06/roch-kabore-est-en-pleine-forme-dans-un-etat-moral-tres-solide-selon-desire-guinko/
https://burkina24.com/2022/07/02/cdp-le-recepisse-du-parti-toujours-attendu-achille-tapsoba-encore-suspendu
https://burkina24.com/2022/07/02/mahamadou-issoufou-jai-ecoute-avec-attention-et-avec-beaucoup-dinteret-les-analyses-que-les-uns-et-les-autres-font/

https://burkina24.com/2022/07/04/cooperation-bilaterale-le-burkina-faso-et-la-republique-du-chili-renforcent-leur-relation/

Burkina Faso to learn of opportunities for collaboration in the sectors of agriculture, livestock,
education and mining. The meeting ended with good political will to seal a development
partnership for the benefit of the two States.


Burkina Faso’s reaction to the ECOWAS Summit’s decisions
In response to the withdrawal of the economic and financial sanctions which had been adopted at
the Extraordinary Summit of March 25, 2022, the government of Burkina Faso acknowledged
that the opportunity of consolidating its cooperation with its bilateral and multilateral partners

10 . The Government appreciated the patience and attentive listening of their mediator, Mahamadou
ISSOUFOU, and his enhancement of a compromise between ECOWAS and the transition
governing authorities. Nevertheless, the government deplored the upheld suspension of Burkina
Faso from ECOWAS decision-making bodies, while reaffirming its will and determination to
promote a peaceful and timely transition to democratic rule.


While visiting the President of Faso, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo DAMIBA, at the
end of his mission on July 5, the Danish Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Steen Sonne
ANDERSEN, also appreciated the agreement between Burkina Faso and ECOWAS Economic
Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the return to constitutional order.
Additionally, in view of strengthening the cooperation between Denmark and Burkina Faso, the
diplomat reiterated Denmark’s commitment to supporting Burkina Faso in tackling humanitarian
challenges

11 . In line with this, the two countries recently signed an agreement on a major five-
year cooperation program of 100 billion FCFA, that will focus on activities to help populations
in their development.

High-level meeting of the presidents of Burkina Faso

Transition President of Faso, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo DAMIBA met the former
Heads of State of Burkina Faso on July 8 in Ouagadougou. Invited presidents included Roch
Marc Christian KABORÉ, Michel KAFANDO, Yacouba Isaac ZIDA, Blaise COMPAORÉ and
Jean-Baptiste OUÉDRAOGO.


The reconciliation initiative and the return of former leader Blaise Compaoré was initiated by
former president Roch Kaboré but halted by the trial of the assassination of Thomas Sankara.
However, arrangements made by the current transition president have facilitated Compaoré’s
arrival in Ouagadougou and participation in the reconciliation.


Although the meeting was to enhance a lasting peace and reconciliation, Michel Kafando was
absent for health reasons, Yacouba Isaac Zida for administrative reasons, and Roch Kaboré
prevented by an angry crowd, also could not attend this meeting.


https://burkina24.com/2022/07/05/le-gouvernement-deplore-la-suspension-du-burkina-faso-des-instances-de-la-cedeao/
https://burkina24.com/2022/07/05/lambassadeur-danois-steen-sonne-andersen-en-fin-de-mission-se-rejouit-de-laccord-entre-le-burkina-et-la-cedeao/

https://burkina24.com/2022/07/08/ouaga-forte-mobilisation-autour-du-domicile-de-roch-kabore/

Report of Training of Hakimai and Ardo on Peacebuilding & Conflict Resolution in Kaduna State

By Blog, Conflict ResolutionNo Comments

Under the Project of: Strengthening the Delivery of Peace and Security (SDPS) Project

Background

Kaduna State’s unfortunate history of violent conflict has been driven by religious and ethnic conflicts and long predates the recent spate of rural violence and banditry that has engulfed in North-western region of the country. Incidents have often stemmed from indigene-settler, farmer-herder and Muslim-Christian conflicts. This history has sadly been amplified by the media and political commentators, which has only led to more kidnapping, attacks on rural communities and killings by bandits in the region.

Because of these different fault lines, armed banditry in the state has often been misinterpreted in different ways when compared to other frontline states with lesser history of ethnic and religious violence. Every violent incident, whether a kidnapping or a killing, is unique but is always seen through the lens of religious conflict – which only serves to inflame the situation and ignore how complex the situation really is. Given their unique position as custodians of culture and history, as well as leaders in the community charged with maintaining peace, traditional leaders in Kaduna State – the Hakimai and Ardo – are at the centre of such issues as either victims or peacekeepers.

The important role that these traditional authorities play in maintain peace and social cohesion cannot be overstated. Because they lead their communities directly, they are often in touch with grassroots issues and engage with the masses and have often had experience dealing with conflict resolution in their territories. This means that they are key stakeholders in ensuring the success of any public policy-focused social Programme and its expected implementation. The failure to effectively leverage these traditional conflict resolution and peacebuilding architectures in the state is partly responsible for the escalation of this violent conflict in Kaduna State.

In order to correct this error, and in line with its mandate, the Centre of Democracy and Development (CDD), in partnership with the Centre for Peace Studies at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, organised a two-day capacity building training for selected Hakimai and Ardo in Kaduna State on peacebuilding and conflict resolution under its Strengthening the Delivery of Peace and Security (SDPS) Project.

Justification and Objectives

The background provides apt justification for this training session. Within the parameters and contours of armed banditry and kidnapping, violent ideological groups, such as Boko Haram, ISWAP and Ansaru, are exploiting existing religious, ethnic and indigene-settler tensions to infiltrate Kaduna State.

The Abuja-Kaduna train attack and numbers of passengers currently under captivity is a case in point. This growing trend is existentially why this training is being anchored by the CDD. The situation requires more urgent and effective proactive measures. And, the best point to start is from the Hakimai and Ardo, who are the custodian of peace and conflict resolution. The main objective is therefore, to build the capacity of traditional leaders (see concept note) to strengthen their knowledge and expertise to understanding the challenging dynamics, trends, dimensions and complexities of all types of conflicts in Kaduna State and to contribute meaningfully towards peace building and resolution using all necessary traditional and religious mechanisms as differentiated in various communities and religious domains.

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