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Weekly ECOWAS Region Updates

West Africa This Week – A Weekly Highlight On Political, Security, Socio-Political and Health Happenings Across the West African Region

By Weekly ECOWAS Region UpdatesNo Comments


MALI, SENEGAL, AND BURKINA FASO
MALI


Political Dynamics
An acting Prime Minister appointed Following the compulsory imposed medical rest of former Mali’s Prime Minister, Choguel Kokalla Maïga, a decree of the Malian Transition President made public on August 21st has put Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga, as the present acting Prime Minister. Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga who is also the Minister of Territorial Administration is expected to combine the functions of Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization with those of the Prime Minister [1].


Choguel Kokalla Maïga had been facing criticism for several months from his former allies of the June 5 Movement-Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP), before information about his health circulated, evoking a stroke and then hospitalization in a clinic in Bamako. Following the unending speculations on his health, he was forced by his doctor to rest after 14 months of tireless work. Also, various groups and his allies also sought his resignation and he is strongly contested by the Malian opposition gathered in the Framework for the Exchange of Political Parties for a Successful Transition which had requested a Prime Minister that is non-partisan, consensual, competent, honest and with a proven knowledge of the political, economic and security dynamics of the country.


Mali acknowledges the definitive departure of Barkhane The Malian Transitional Government has acknowledged the final withdrawal of the Barkhane Force and promised more success in the fight against terrorism [2].


Recalling that France had unilaterally decided on June 10, 2021, to withdraw the Barkhane force from Mali by adopting a timetable, without consultation with the Malian authorities to which it was bound by Defense Accords, the Malian authorities justified the departure of France. Thus, Mali’s demand for the immediate departure of France forces on February 18 2022 was on the grounds of the seriousness of the above-stated act by France.


Furthermore, the authorities noted that “the deterioration of the security situation in Mali and in the Sahel is an immediate consequence of the intervention of France and its allies in Libya”. Hence, with the departure of Barkhane and the rise in power of the valiant Malian Armed Forces (FAMa), more successes will be engaged against terrorist groups, the security of the populations will be considerably improved and the assets will not weaken.


The Transitional Government also reiterated “its readiness to cooperate with all the States of the world in order to curb the terrorist threat, provided that this relationship falls within the framework of the [3] principles guiding public action in Mali, defined by HE the President of the Transition, Head of State, Colonel Assimi Goïta, namely: respect for the sovereignty of Mali, compliance with the strategic choices made by Mali, the defense of the interests of Malians in the decisions taken”.
Updates on the 49 Ivorian soldiers arrested in Mali Negotiations for the peaceful release of the 49 Ivorian soldiers arrested in Mali on July 10th are ongoing. Interventions and mediations have been made by the Togolese president, ECOWAS, AU, UN and other notable dignitaries but without attaining the much expected happy ending.


Nevertheless, on August 24th, the interparliamentary committee of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) met in Abidjan and 2 This was noted in a press release by Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga consequently, sent a delegation to Côte d’Ivoire and Mali on the dispute arising from the arrest of 49 Ivorian soldiers in Mali [3]. The interparliamentary committee hopes to use parliamentary diplomacy in order to achieve a peaceful settlement of this dispute between the two countries. Will UEMOA succeed in attaining a happy ending between Mali and Cote d’Ivoire, without Cote d’Ivoire meeting the conditions set by Mali? It can be recalled that the 49 Ivorian soldiers were tried on August 15 and charged with “attempting to undermine state security” by the investigating judge of the Bamako Anti-Terrorism Unit.
Bilateral Cooperation between Mali and Iran The Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amir Habdollahian, accompanied by the Iranian Vice President of Trade, Industry of Mining and Agriculture and more than 30 Iranian businessmen were in Mali from August 22 to 23 on a working visit [4].

Meeting with Malian authorities, exchanges were on strengthening Mali’s cooperation with Iran in defence, security, higher education and scientific research, rural development, mines, energy and water, health, transport, infrastructure, industry, trade, housing, town planning, culture and tourism, communication and of the digital economy. The Iranian Vice President of Trade, Industry of Mining and Agriculture underlined Iran’s preparedness to also intervene in Mali in the fields of cotton and meat processing as well as in the supply of basic necessities. Mali is said to be first in livestock at the level of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) space and second in the ECOWAS space but without meat processing plants and milk factories. The Iranian-Malian cooperation may thus be a win-win project with a lot of economic benefits.

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West Africa This Week – August 12th – 18th, 2022

By Weekly ECOWAS Region UpdatesNo Comments

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

LIBERIA, SIERRA LEONE AND MALI


Macky Sall’s African Tour
President Macky Sall who doubles as the president of Senegal and the current president of the African Union went on an African Tour this week. While the French President, Emmanuel Macron, had targeted Benin, Guinea-Bissau and Cameroon for his African tour, Macky Sall will be visiting Mali, Chad and Gabon [1].

Consequently, he was in Mali on August 15 and was welcomed by the Malian Transition president, Colonel Assimi Goïta. The visit aimed at exchanging and working with the Malian authorities to ensure a successful transition, as well as supporting Mali’s integration in African and international activities. He used the opportunity to invite other African countries and the international community to support Mali in its relentless fight against terrorism.


LIBERIA


Political Dynamics
Liberia learns from Sierra Leone

The sudden political and violent unrest experienced recently in Sierra Leone because of citizens’ dissatisfaction with the poor economic and political situation of the country is serving as a lesson to other ECOWAS States. It can be recalled that similar unrest and protests were also experienced in Guinea, Mali, and Burkina Faso, before the democratic rule in these countries was eventually snatched by putschists. Taking a cue from the situation, organizations, individuals and political stakeholders and parties have taken to various platforms to advocate, reinforce democratic measures and call for peace. One of such is the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) in Liberia. The Party leader, Alexander B. Cummings, issued a statement on August 14 commending the restoration of calm and order in Sierra Leone while calling for respect for the rule of law and increased commitment to deepening the culture and values of democracy in Liberia and throughout the West African sub-region [2].


Liberian top officials involved in corrupt schemes
Three (3) Liberian government officials Nathaniel McGill, Sayma Syrenius Cephus, and Bill Twehway have been sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for their involvement in ongoing public corruption in Liberia. They have been accused of using public offices for their personal benefits, thus undermining democracy. The sanction aligns with the United States’ commitment to hold corrupt actors accountable and bolster anti-corruption efforts in the implementation of the United States Strategy on Countering Corruption [3].


Nathaniel McGill is Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Chief of Staff to President George Weah. He is reported to have been involved in numerous corrupt schemes, manipulated procurement processes, bribed business owners, received bribes from potential investors, and used government funds to run his own projects. Sayma Syrenius Cephus is the current Solicitor General and Chief Prosecutor of Liberia. Cephus is accused of shielding suspects of criminal investigations, tampering with and purposefully withholding evidence in cases involving members of opposition political parties to ensure conviction.

Similarly, Bill Twehway is is accused of orchestrating the diversion of $1.5 million in vessel storage fee funds from the NPA into a private account. He is the current Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA) and has been reported to have secretly formed a private company for loading and uploading cargo contracts. These three are sanctioned for being current government officials and involved in corruption schemes. Hence, all their property and interests in the United States are blocked and reported to OFAC. Additionally, at least 50% of entities they own directly or indirectly are also blocked.

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West Africa This Week

By Weekly ECOWAS Region UpdatesNo Comments

August 5th to August 11th 2022

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

SENEGAL AND MALI

Highlights this week focus on the results of the Senegalese legislative elections, the possibility of a third term for Macky Sall, the internal strife in Mali’s M5-RFP, the Mali-Russia relation, and updates on the case of the 49 Ivorian soldiers arrested in Mali

SENEGAL

Political Dynamics

Legislative election results

The victory battle between the ruling coalition BBY and the opposition coalition Yewwi Askan Wi has final come to an end in favour of the opposition, with the ruling opposition losing the majority. Out of the 165 seats, BBY secured 82 deputies, a little below the 83 seats required for an absolute majority.  However, the main opposition coalitions also failed to win the majority of the National Assembly’s 165 seats. Yewwi Askan Wi and Wallu Senegal won 56 and 24 seats respectively, making a total of 80 seats. The remaining three seats were split among smaller parties and coalitions[1].

With the absence of an outright majority, and the President’s dire need of the majority, how will the presidential and the opposition coalitions manage the other three legislators? This has brought on an interesting twist to the Senegalese legislative history. Senegal has reportedly never had a National Assembly without an outright majority, and a Senegalese president has never governed without his party holding the majority[2]. The unfolding of events in the 14th Legislature is worth looking forward to. 

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West Africa This Week

By Blog, Uncategorized, Weekly ECOWAS Region UpdatesNo Comments

A Weekly Highlight on Political, Security, Socio-Political and Health Happenings Across the West African Region – July 29th to August 4th 2022

MALI, BURKINA FASO, SENEGAL, GUINEA
Source: Cdd

In the week under review, key highlights focus on developments on the case of the 49 Ivorian
soldiers, the 2022 legislative elections in Senegal, responses or reactions to the French
President’s African tour, the FNDC issues in Guinea, and on the health scenes, the persistent rise
in the number of confirmed new cases of COVID across the region.
Macron’s African Tour
In line with French President, Emmanuel Macron’s African tour to Cameroon, Benin and Guinea
Bissau to strengthen bilateral ties between these countries, Macron was received in Benin
Republic by President Patrice Talon on July 27. In Benin, the two presidents used the occassion
to renew their friendship, as well as discuss the restitution of cultural property and the threats of
armed terrorist groups affecting northern Benin. During a press conference in Guinea Bissau,
Macron expressed France’s support to the development of the country’s agricultural sector,
respect of ECOWAS in regional matters, and solidarity with the region in fighting against
terrorism. On Mali, he highlighted that the military junta in government is no longer fighting
terrorism which prompted the withdrawal of French forces from Mali and also reiterated
ECOWAS responsibility to help the Malian people “build a stable environment” to fight jihadist
groups


MALI
Political Dynamics
Mali sends a message to Macron
The remarks made by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron during his African tour,
precisely in Guinea Bissau on July 28, 2022, have yielded responses from the Malian
Transitional Government. During his press conference, the French Head of State reiterated
erroneous accusations by asserting that the Malian authorities maintain relations with a
paramilitary group. Another was on the exercise of violence by the Malian authorities targeting a
specific ethnic group.

Mali Flag


In response, the Transitional Government has condemned with the utmost rigor these “hateful
and defamatory” remarks by the French President and called national and international opinion
to witness these serious accusations which are likely to arouse ethnic hatred and undermine their
living together, cohesion, as well as harmony among Malians. The Malian press release [1] underlines that “these subversive remarks by the French President vindicate the Transitional Government which, rightly, put an end to defense cooperation with France for its unsatisfactory results in the fight against terrorism in Mali”. [2]


French President Emmanuel Macron was thus demanded “to definitively abandon his neocolonial, paternalistic and condescending posture” with the understanding that no one can love Mali better than the Malians themselves.


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 committee. [3]


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.


An International Arrest Warrant Against Former Prime Minister
An international arrest warrant against former leaders of IBK’s regime was issued on July 25, 2022 by the Supreme Court of Mali. The former leaders involved include Boubou Cissé, former Prime Minister and former Minister of Economy and Finance of IBK; Tièman Hubert Coulibaly, former Minister of National Defence; Mamadou Igor Diarra, ex-Minister of Economy and Finance, and Babaly Bah, ex-boss of BMS-SA. The case is related to the purchase of equipment under a public contract known as PARAMOUNT, a part of the implementation of the Orientation and Programming Law for Homeland Security [4]. Official investigation reports established overcharges of 40 billion CFA francs ($72 million), in the case related to the purchase of presidential aircraft and military equipment.


The reason for the international nature of the arrest warrant must be linked to the current residences of the concerned former leaders being outside Mali. Former Malian Prime Minister Boubou Cissé took residence in Côte d’Ivoire since December 2021, after having been accused of wanting to destabilize the transition. Tieman Hubert Coulibaly, former Minister of Defense, took refuge in France after being suspected in the framework of the Military Orientation and Programming Law.

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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/

Weekly ECOWAS Region Updates – Cape Verde and Mali

By Weekly ECOWAS Region UpdatesNo Comments

Political Dynamics in Cape Verde

Presidential elections: Opposition emerges winner

Amidst the seeming resurgence of military involvement in politics in West Africa and the Sahel regions, Cabo Verde, a nation of multiple islands with a reputation for political stability held its presidential election on the 17th of October. Below are the candidates:

Although the election was marked by a great level of abstention in São Vicente, Santo Antão, Fogo, Boa Vista and Maio[14],  there was a huge influx of voters at Achada Grande Frente, in the city of Praia. Former prime minister (2000-2016) Jose Maria Neves, 61, of the opposition African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV), defeated his main rival from the ruling party MpD, former Prime Minister Carlos Veiga, 72, with more than 51% in the voting ring, with results as follows: Jose Maria Neves – 51.74%, Carlos Veiga – 42.37%, Casimiro de Pina 1.81%, Fernando  Rocha Delgado 1.36%, Helio Sanches 1.14%, Gilson Alves 0.84, Joaquim Monteiro 0.74%. The National Electoral Commission, CNE, registered a total of 398,864 voters from an estimated population of 550,000 people on the Islands’ nation and in the diaspora, with a turn-out of 48.2%.

Accordingly, Veiga conceded to his defeat and congratulated Neves as the winner. And on October 22, CNE formally declared opposition leader José Maria Pereira Neves, 61, as the winner of the October 17 presidential election with 51.75% or 95,974 of the valid votes[15].

As a member of the PAICV, Neves has had several shots at the presidency, majorly in 1997 and in 2000 but lost at both attempts. He ended up a Prime Minister in 2001. Some of his achievements includes the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China and the signing of a “Special Treaty” with the European Union in 2002, the initiation of moves that eventually made Cabo Verde a member of the regional bloc ECOWAS, etc. His outstanding economic and political policies won him second and third terms as Prime Minister finishing in 2016. And eventually, taking a third shot at the presidency, he finally won to become Cabo Verde’s fifth President. His swearing-in is due in the first week of November.

Below is the distribution of votes:

The Cape Verdian peaceful, very calm and violence-free election possesses lots of governance takeaways and lessons that other African countries can draw from. This also reflects the steady growth of the country when compared to the other ECOWAS Member States.

President-elect meets with the head of Government

The elected President of the Republic, José Maria Neves, visited the Government Palace on October 22[16], after his formal recognition as the president-in-waiting. The purpose of his visit was to reiterate to the Prime Minister his willingness to collaborate with the executive in order to find the best solutions for the country. José Maria Nves also seized the opportunity to congratulate the Prime Minister and Government on the vaccination campaign carried out throughout the country, expressing hopes of reaching the entire population by the end of the year, and then rebuilding the country, creating jobs, fighting poverty and inequalities and accelerating the pace of modernization in the country. He also affirmed during the meeting that Cape Verde can count on him to ensure stability as he will do everything in his power to ensure political, institutional, social stability and with great balance and serenity and great responsibility for Cape Verde to globally return to normality after the pandemic. On plans for his main counterpart, he hopes to be able to count on the support and effective collaboration of Dr Carlos Veiga and other candidates in the next five years of this Presidency.

Health Matters

COVID-19: 10 new cases and 1 death

Amidst the elections and after several days without COVID related deaths, health authorities announced on October 22, a new death in Praia. As of this date, there were also 10 new positive cases across the country in a total of 500 samples analyzed in the last 24 hours. These new cases were registered in Praia (5), São Miguel (1), Ribeira Grande de Santo Antão (1), Porto Novo (2) and Ribeira Brava (1)[17].

Fortunately, 23 patients were considered recovered (Praia 4, São Domingos 2, Santa Catarina 1, São Miguel 2, Santa Cruz 2, São Vicente 2, Sal 1 and Ribeira Brava 9). The country now counts 333 active cases, 37,403 recovered cases, 348 deaths, 15 deaths from other causes and 9 transferred, making a total of 38,108 positive cases accumulated.

Recommendations

  • The serenity surrounding the political climate in Cape Verde should be emulated by other States. No record of violence or conflicts during the campaigns of the elections. The election was also conducted in a free and fair manner leading to the emergence of the opposition as the winner.

Political Dynamics in Mali

February 2022 elections: ECOWAS delegation seeks assurance

The transition government on October 17 received the ECOWAS delegation led by the current ECOWAS Chairman and Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo[18]. The mission of the delegation was to reinforce and remind the government that elections announced for February must go ahead on schedule. An ECOWAS delegation will return to Bamako at the end of October with the hope of receiving the assurances they seek.

In a similar development, the members of the UN Security Council will also be in the country for a push to return to civilian power after two military coups in nine months, and to support the efforts of regional organizations like ECOWAS[19]. The UN delegates will be led by the French ambassador to the UN Nicolas de Riviere along with Niger’s ambassador to the United Nations Abdou Abarry.

Given the fragility of the violence-stricken country, coupled with the impact of climate change and good governance and other humanitarian issues, there is need to stabilize he country and discuss how to support the efforts of the G5 Sahel countries to ensure their security. These constitute the mission of the proposed visit.

Risks on Security and Societal Dynamics

The security situation in Mali seems to be worsening by the day. To abate the deteriorating security situations, the transition is seeking for every possible help and solution. Major highlights on security issues in Mali within the period under review include:

Negotiation with Al Qaeda

In a bid to bring an end to the decade long conflict, the transition government asked the High Islamic Council to open peace talks with leaders of the al Qaeda-linked Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) group[20]. Defending this stride which is against the French’s stand in conducting joint operations with countries negotiating with Islamic militants, the Religious Affairs Minister Mamadou Kone, has insisted that the move is a popular demand, made by the overwhelming majority of the Malian population even before the transition. Hence, the government’s desire to negotiate with all radical Malian groups, including Iyad Ag Ghali and Amadou Koufa, which are most active in Central Mali and the target of French bombing campaigns.

Reacting to the demand, Moufa Haidara, in charge of negotiations within the Council confirmed his group had been tasked to find a compromise, between Malians, so that the war stops throughout the country. With previously existing channels of talks, created during mediation talks in Central Mali’s Niono Circle that led to a peace accord in March between JNIM militants and traditional hunters, positive outcomes are expected.

Who is the sponsor of Wagner?

With the ensuing power tussle between now independent francophone countries and their former coloniser, the establishment of Wagner, a private Russian security group, has become a bone of contention.  Amongst the propositions made concerning Wagner’s arrival in Mali is the one that it is sponsored by Algeria. The allegation has however been denied by the Algerian government, refuting it as French propaganda[21]. This came in response to an exclusive report published on Algerie Part[22] claiming that Algeria had entered negotiations with Malian authorities to contribute to the financing part of a deal between Mali’s government and the Wagner Group, a Russian paramilitary organisation.

It can be recalled that Algeria supported the departure of the Wagner group from Libya years ago. And with the brawl between world powers – France and Russian – and between France and Algeria, the discord over the presence of Wagner in Mali is understandable. While one is certain that Mali struck a deal with the private Russian company to help battle extremist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State active in the Sahel region, what is unsure of is the existence of supposed supporting sponsor (s).

From the Russian end, at a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in the resort city of Sochi in southern Russia, the Russian president admitted the presence of Russian private military companies in Mali[23], claiming that military contractors could be active in guarding mining operations in the West African country. Indicating that it is a private business, private interest, with relations to the extraction of energy resources and other resources, he also stressed that as private companies, private military companies do not represent the interests of the Russian state and are not deployed by Russian authorities.

With the presence of the Wagner and the arrival of the Lithuanian troops beckoned by France[24], one can only hope that there won’t be a clash, thus heightening the insecurity in the country.

A Malian woman killed by the French army during operation

The French military has confirmed the killing of a Malian woman suspected of belonging to a terrorist crew. The incident occurred on October 18 during a Franco-Malian reconnaissance mission after elements of an armed terror group were detected in the Gossi region. As the report states[25], two individuals, suspected to be terrorists on motorcycles carrying a weapon and ammunition were detected by French soldiers. Sighting the soldiers, they deserted the motorcycle and fled, leaving behind an assault rifle, ammunition and a military bag. This led to a chase by the soldiers who fired warning shots to stop them. Eventually, a neutralization shot was fired at one, only to be discovered that she was a woman. Although the body was not identified, it was buried and investigations have been initiated to shed light on the incident.

Recommendations

  • The security situation in Mali is beyond regional. With the connections and links of the terrorist groups to other African nations, the long-lasting solutions to these perennial security challenges should not be only kinetic. The efforts of the ruling junta at initiating negotiations should also be looked into and given adequate consideration, regionally and internationally.
  • As regards elections, persistent efforts should be exerted at ensuring that the scheduled election for next year takes place. This would include drawing up a feasible timeline and election timetable. The regional election mission can ensure this is promptly done.

[1] Abstention dominates presidential https://www.anacao.cv/noticia/2021/10/17/abstencao-domina-presidenciais/

[2] https://www.asemana.publ.cv/?CNE-proclama-Jose-Maria-Neves-vencedor-das-eleicoes-presidenciais&ak=1

[3] President-elect meets with the head of Government to reiterate his willingness to collaborate with the executive https://www.asemana.publ.cv/?Presidente-eleito-encontra-se-com-o-chefe-do-Governo-para-lhe-reiterar-sua&ak=1

[4] https://expressodasilhas.cv/pais/2021/10/22/um-obito-e-10-novos-casos-de-covid-19/77178

[5] https://www.africanews.com/2021/10/18/ecowas-delegation-visits-mali-seeks-assurance-on-elections/

[6] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-10112119/UN-Security-Council-visit-Sahel-weekend-demand-civilian-power-Mali.html

[7] https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/mali-asks-muslim-body-to-negotiate-with-al-qaeda-affiliate/2397028

[8] https://english.alaraby.co.uk/news/algeria-denies-funding-wagner-group-mercenaries-mali

[9] https://www.algeriepartplus.com/exclusif-lalgerie-negocie-avec-la-junte-malienne-pour-financer-une-partie-de-laccord-de-securite-avec-les-militaires-russes-de-wagner/

[10] https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/putin-admits-presence-of-russian-private-military-companies-in-mali/2399400

[11] https://www.lrt.lt/en/news-in-english/19/1522926/lithuania-heeds-call-from-france-agrees-to-send-troops-and-aircraft-to-mali

[12] https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/french-army-kills-malian-woman-during-operation/2396993

Weekly ECOWAS Region Update – Burkina Faso

By Weekly ECOWAS Region UpdatesNo Comments

Political Dynamics in Burkina Faso

Merger of Sankarist parties – UNIR/PS and MPS

One of the major political events in Burkinabé political scene this October ending is the congress of a coalition of the Sankarist and progressive parties, embarked on by the Union pour la renaissance / Sankariste Party (UNIR / PS ) and the Patriotic Movement for Salvation (MPS). The Coalition Congress which commenced in August is expected to have its final establishment ceremony on October 30, 31 and November 1, 2021. Antecedent to the event, progressive parties and organizations that have a progressive vision were called to join the coalition. And five political parties responded favorably to the call. The ceremony will be marked with the signing of the merger protocol. Expected to attain success at both national and grassroots levels, general assemblies have already been organized in Ouagadougou, Bobo-Dioulasso, Yako and soon in Réo. After the congress, further information on the coalition, its representative for the Municipal elections, etc. will be made known to the Burkinabe citizens[1].

Municipal elections May 2022

In preparation for the municipal elections of May 2022, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), the national body in charge of organizing polls and referendums, has already commenced work. However, before the commencement of work, it can be recalled that the Council of Ministers in early October 2021 adopted a decree on the exceptional revision of the electoral register from November 14, 2021 to January 31, 2022. The revision of the electoral register is intended to permit Burkinabè citizens who have reached the age of electoral majority since the last elections, to register on the electoral rolls and to be able to enjoy their right to vote. To this effect, CENI informed the political stakeholders during the consultation that exemptional revision will be open from November 14, 2021, to January 31, 2022.  Nevertheless, this will be preceded by the breaking out of CENI into other Commissions.

In line with their tasks, a consultation was subsequently held with political parties and civil society organizations on the organizational aspects of the revision of the electoral register. One of the major concerns raised during the consultation was on the management of internally displaced persons and insecurity in certain areas. In response to this, the CENI team promised to keep the political actors informed on the different stages of their preparations through subsequent meetings[2].

CENI breaks out into other Commissions

The weekend of October 16 and 17, 2021 witnessed the breaking out of CENI into other Commissions in preparations to avoid the electoral violence of 2016. The new Commissions are the Independent Provincial Electoral Commission ( CEPI), the Independent Communal Electoral Commission (CECI) / the Independent District Electoral Commission (CEIA).

According to the calendar of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), the period from 12 to 21 October 2021 is devoted to the establishment of these new structures, followed by the swearing-in of their members. The creation of new structures reduces the burden of electoral operations on CENI.

As expected, several political parties have already made moves to have representatives in these structures. Such as the Alliance of political parties and formations of the presidential majority (APMP) led by the party in power, the People’s Movement for Progress (MPP, ruling party) and the Leader of the Political Opposition in Burkina Faso (CFOP-BF), headed by the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP, the former ruling party), the leading force in the political opposition[3].

Trouble in CDP ahead of the Municipal Elections

The former ruling party, the party of the overthrown Blaise Compaore, the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP), is witnessing massive resignations of members in at the municipal level, months before the municipal elections. More than 150 members of the basic structures of the party tendered their resignation from the party on October 15. Additionally, out of 130 members of the National Executive Board, 33 members have reportedly resigned recently[4]. This is claimed to be caused by unheeded complaints against the poor and problematic management of the party. This wave of collective resignations will undoubtedly extend the list of executives and basic members who have left the ship.

Reacting to the resignations in the CDP, the secretary for the organization of the party and vice-president of the National Assembly, Boubacar Sannou, has spoken his own truth on the open crisis the party has been facing in recent weeks. Penning down a letter[5] to all CDP activists, he frowned at the current affairs within the party, characterized by acts of violence, criticisms against the president of the party demanding his resignation, executives resigning from the organs and authorities of the party, etc.

He linked the resignations of the executives to their inability to maintain the tremendous lifestyles and illegal benefits they accessed as benefits of their membership, caused by the sudden loss of power in October 2014. Highlighting that the loss of power equates to the loss of the benefits of power, he outlined various reasons why the activists, businessmen, opportunists, service providers, etc.,  left the party. In his opinion, those who no longer have their accounts, those who want to launder or protect their ill-gotten assets who can neither launder nor protect ill-gotten goods by activating in an opposition party and the egoists who do not want to share what they have had thanks to the party, can only migrate to greener grasslands. Seeking for an excuse to exit, they get the president to wear the hat, using his human resources management as the excuse; while they migrate directly to the MPP, the ruling party or one of its satellite parties; and with membership in the hope of accessing state resources to continue to maintain their lifestyle.

He applauded the efforts of the party president, Eddie Konboigo, and also encouraged the true CDP activists to remain convinced that politics is not the sector of enrichment, but the search for solutions to the concerns of the populations.

CDP: Members of the National Executive Board suspended for six months

Amidst the ongoing resignations, three activists, members of the National Executive Bureau (BEN) of the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) were suspended for six months[6], on October 16 as a disciplinary measure following an ugly incident involving youths of the party during a press conference on September 23. They are the National Secretary for the mobilization of young people, Adama Tiendrébeogo, the 2nd Deputy Secretary for the mobilization of young people Ghislain Konseiga and the 4th Deputy Secretary in charge of the mobilization of young people of the party, Baguian Abdoul Karim. They are prohibited from speaking on behalf of the CDP and from participating in party activities during these six months of suspension.

Burkina Faso was applauded by the AU for enormous efforts in the fight against corruption

A delegation from the African Advisory Council on Corruption of the African Union visited the presidency in mid-October. The delegation, led by the president of the council Jean-Louis Andriamifidy, went on a mission to take stock of the implementation of the African Union Convention on the prevention and the fight against corruption, which Burkina Faso ratified on November 25, 2005[7].

The meeting served also as an opportunity to discuss the concerns of the Union over the country. One of such is the problem of illicit financial leakage which seriously compromises the development of the continent as shown by studies that Africa loses nearly 80 billion dollars yearly to illicit financial leaks. As a result, the advisory council of the African Union was therefore mandated to work on finding amendments to integrate this aspect into the continental anti-corruption mechanism and Burkina Faso, being the land of upright men, was chosen to serve as a pilot in the development of this amendment.

However, based on documentation received from the Burkinabe government, the council applauded the good practices of Burkina Faso in the implementation of the convention and acknowledged the government’s enormous efforts to comply with the provisions of the convention, particularly when referred to the legal framework that has been put in place.

This is nevertheless contrary to the outcries of the citizens[8] who have described the council’s remarks and observations as a beautiful irony, a beautiful staging, and the unwanted caress which further the disconnection of the current government with the reality of the country. In their opinion, this reflects why the president is not bothered about his government squandering the meagre resources on self-gratifying projects. Some even went on to request for the publication of the documentation that showed the government’s efforts at curbing corruption.

Risks on Security and Societal Dynamics

The Burkinabè National Armed Forces Welcome New Leaders

Early October marked a new turn for the leadership of the Burkinabe National Armed Forces. The change of leadership could also be linked to the terrorist attacks the country has experienced in recent days. Consequently, the Head of State appointed new military leaders by decree, with only the post of Chief of Staff of the Army, currently occupied by Colonel-Major Gilles Bationo, being spared. At the national gendarmerie and at the level of the air force, the new bosses were the assistants of their predecessors. As well as the Chief of General Staff of the Armies[9]. Below are more details on these new faces eagerly awaited in the field of the fight against terrorism.

  • Gilbert Ouédraogo, previously deputy to Moise Miningou, now Chief of the General Staff of the Armies. Aged 59, Brigadier General Gilbert Ouédraogo replaces General Moïse Miningou at the head of the armed forces and is the third chief of the general staff of the armies appointed by the president of Faso in six years of exercise of power. Appointed Deputy of General Moise Miningou in 2018, a few weeks after the double terrorist attack of the General Staff of the Armies and the French Embassy in Ouagadougou, on March 2, he will spend three years in the newly occupied seat.
  • Colonel-Major Vinta Somé, 57, former PMK battalion commander is now the Deputy Chief of the Armed Forces, assisting Brigadier General Gilbert Ouédraogo. As the current deputy chief of staff of the armed forces, he will have several structures under his control, in accordance with the organization chart of the EMGA. These are the General secretariat, the Centre for Information and Communication Systems, the Archives and Documentation Service, the Personnel, Training, Chancellery and Legislation, Operations, Military Intelligence and the Deputy Head of Operations divisions.
  • Colonel Souleymane Ouédraogo is the new captain taking the controls at the Air Force level. Before his appointment as Chief of Staff of the Air Force, he had been Colonel Kounsaouma Palenfo’s deputy since April 2017.
  • And lastly, Colonel-Major Omer Marie Hermann Bambara takes the reins as the new boss of the national gendarmerie. He replaces his namesake Omer Marie Bruno Tapsoba, the successor of Colonel Tuandaba Marcel Coulibaly since May 2017.

With this new batch of leaders, citizens hope for effective results in the fight against terrorism.

Joint Sahel Program in response to the triple C challenges

The joint Sahel program, (SD3C-G5 Sahel + Senegal), initiated to remedy the consequences of Covid-19, Conflicts and Climate change trio for family farms in rural areas, has commenced its activities. Though launched in Ouagadougou on July 16, 2021, the activities of this program officially started on October 20, 2021, with a technical start-up workshop. The SD3C-G5 Sahel + Senegal program is an initiative of the G5 Sahel, led by Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad and Senegal in collaboration with IFAD, FAO and WFP and aims to provide support at the level of different countries, especially cross-border areas to mitigate, terminate and ensure the producers can resume their activities calmly. Worth a total of $ 14 million, the SD3C-G5 Sahel + Senegal program has a duration of six years sequenced in two phases of three years each. In Burkina Faso, the intervention zone is made up of border areas with humanitarian access in the Sahel, Boucle du Mouhoun and North regions[10].

Several actions and activities will be carried out in particular at the level of support for production and agricultural productivity. Stakeholders and producers will also benefit from support to rebuild their capital. If for some, their needs are at the level of the herd, others on the other hand will receive kits to relocate and start again on good productions. These would include internally displaced persons who have lost their land due to insecurity. In terms of key indicators, the program targets, among others, 20,000 rural households of which 52% are women and 40% are young people; 75% of beneficiaries declare an improvement in their livelihoods and resilience.

The workshop, which served as an avenue for the main actors to take ownership of the program and have a common understanding and effective anticipatory strategies in favour of the implementation of subsequent activities, brought together more than sixty participants made up of the program’s administrative and decentralized authorities, representatives of general directorates, decentralized technical services, umbrella organizations, partner projects and programs, etc.

Some of the themes discussed at the workshop include sexual exploitation and harassment amidst the three-C challenges, investments and social dialogue at borders that will facilitate access to markets for agro-pastoral communities, etc. Similar to this, several other organizations in West Africa have initiated or embarked on various advocacies, programmes and projects aimed at softening the adverse effects of the triple-C challenges. One of such is the Centre for Democracy and Development, West Africa, which held a virtual roundtable to reflect and propose sustainable solutions to these challenges across West Africa. These initiatives have among others, the advantages of providing small producers with access to new economic opportunities with capacities more suited to the challenges of climate change, thanks to the support for increasing productivity and production; facilitating capacity building that can enhance the establishment of productive partnerships between breeders and farmers, etc.

Europe-Burkina Cooperation: Joint Fight against Impunity in Burkina Faso

The Belgian Development Agency (ENABEL) together with the Swiss NGO CONGINTA launched two major projects in early October[11]: the Support Project for the Strengthening of Justice to Combat Impunity (PARJI) and the Support Project for the Strengthening of military justice and local justice to fight against impunity (AJUMPJU). Concerned by the blockages the criminal chain faces which have contributed to the deterioration of security and the increase in crime, despite notable advances in the Burkinabe judicial system, the European Union has launched a program called the “Justice Program” in Burkina Faso.

This program, funded to the tune of 6.5 billion CFA francs by the EU, will be implemented through two projects: the Support Project for the Strengthening of Justice to Fight Impunity (PARJI) and the Project of ‘support for the strengthening of military justice and local justice to fight against impunity (AJUMPJU). While PARJI will be implemented by the Belgian Development Agency (ENABEL), the AJUMJU project will be executed by the Swiss NGO CONGINTA, and both will ensure equal access to justice for all in order to combat the feeling of impunity, and enhance a climate of trust between the populations and the judicial authorities of Burkina. The project interventions are also mainly at two levels: the first being the functioning of the penal chain of the judicial system and the second emphasizing the access of poor and vulnerable populations to the public service of justice in order to strengthen the credibility of the judicial system. In addition, the projects will be implemented over a period of three years, from 2021 to 2024.

Burkina-Niger cooperation: Towards a Joint Partnership against Terrorism

On the African front, cooperation is also brewing between Burkina Faso and an African counterpart. Visited by the President of the Republic of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, on October 17 and 18, 2021, Burkinabe president Roch Kaboré and Bazoum revisited the lines of cooperation between their two countries[12]. Threatened by the terrorist phenomenon which is shaking the peace of the two countries, the two heads of the state affirmed their desire to pool forces across several military and civilian areas. It is in this spirit that they welcomed the encouraging results recorded by the “Taanli” operation, conducted in June 2021 by units from Niger and Burkina Faso, with a view to considerably reducing the capacities of armed terrorist groups at the common borders. Consequently, both agreed to intensify cooperation to counter the terrorist phenomenon and to continue advocating with the United Nations Security Council and partners in order to put in place a mechanism guaranteeing long-term financing of the joint force.

Apart from security issues, other discussions centred on socio-economic development, emphasizing the need for the two countries to reactivate the Burkina-Niger mixed commission, whose last discussion meeting dates back to 2013; and also the socio-political situation in Mali and Guinea-Conakry. Concerning Mali, the two leaders jointly advocated for elections in February 2022, condemning any argument intended to be used as a pretext for not holding the elections on the scheduled date. They also expressed their willingness to work to strengthen cooperation between their two countries, with a view to bringing their peoples closer together.

Covid-19 in Burkina: 5 deaths and 34 new cases registered

In a communique released on October 20 by the government’s Information Service, the assessment of the Covid-19 situation in Burkina shows 34 new cases registered on October 18, 2021. These include 13 cases in Ouagadougou, 07 in Bobo-Dioulasso, 02 in Banfora, 01 in Houndé , 02 in Tougan, 01 N’Dorola, 02 in Dedougou, 01 in Boromo, 01 in Nouns, 02 in Fada, 01 in Manni and 01 in Tenkodogo. On the same date, the country, unfortunately, recorded 05 new deaths, bringing the total to 214. On the positive side, 24 new healings were also recorded, bringing the total to 14,287 as of October 18[13].

Since the first of March 9 2020, Burkina has registered a total of 14,793 confirmed cases, including 5,482 women and 9,311 men. Regarding vaccination, a total of 325,119 people were vaccinated. Consequently, the government continues to urge the citizens to respect the Covid measures to protect themselves and others.

Recommendations

  • Other ECOWAS Member States are encouraged to imitate the example of the Burkinabe in establishing new commissions to undertake some of the responsibilities of CENI. This in turn unburdens the election body and also enhances more effectiveness in conducting elections.
  • On the society scale, the government is encouraged to work towards the decentralization of the countries resources. Attention should be paid to the outcry of the masses. In the long run, this will prevent agitations that could force military interferences.

[1] This was deduced from an interview with the organization’s manager, MP Halidou Sanfo, available at https://lefaso.net/spip.php?article108366

[2] Burkina / Municipal elections 2022: The actors in the process consult each other https://lefaso.net/spip.php?article108127

[3] Mise en place des démembrements de la CENI : Bien préparer le terrain pour éviter les violences électorales de 2016 ! https://lefaso.net/spip.php?article108398

[4] Commune de Banfora/CDP : Plus de 150 militants rendent leur démission, la gestion du parti décriée https://lefaso.net/spip.php?article108315

[5] Démissions au CDP : « Le MPP et ses partis satellites deviendront bientôt un albatros avec ses colonnes d’opportunistes, d’affairistes … » (Boubacar Sannou) https://lefaso.net/spip.php?article108381

[6] Congress for Democracy and Progress: Six-month suspension for three members of the national executive board https://lefaso.net/spip.php?article108317

[7] Lutte contre la corruption : Le Burkina Faso « a fait d’énormes efforts » https://lefaso.net/spip.php?article108219

[8] The citizens’reactions were derived from comments made on the comment section of the article in Ibid

[9] Forces armées nationales burkinabè : Qui sont les nouveaux chefs ? https://lefaso.net/spip.php?article108082

[10] Burkina : Les activités du programme conjoint Sahel en réponse aux défis covid-19, conflits et changements climatiques lancées https://lefaso.net/spip.php?article108395

[11] Coopération Europe-Burkina : Lancement de deux projets pour lutter contre l’impunité au Burkina Faso https://lefaso.net/spip.php?article108075

[12] Coopération Burkina-Niger : Les présidents Roch Kaboré et Mohamed Bazoum mutualisent leurs forces contre le terrorisme https://lefaso.net/spip.php?article108350

[13] Covid-19 au Burkina : 34 nouveaux cas enrégistrés, 24 guérisons et 05 décès a la date du 18 octobre 2021 https://lefaso.net/spip.php?article108390