Ghana’s Addo seeks Senegal’s Faye help in ECOWAS conflicts

In a significant diplomatic move, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo on Friday called upon Senegal’s newly elected President Bassirou Diomaye Faye to leverage his influence within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to address ongoing disputes with Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali.

The appeal was made during Faye’s visit to the Ghanaian capital, Accra.President Faye arrived early in Accra after meeting with Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, signaling a robust diplomatic engagement in the region.

The discussions in Accra come at a crucial time, as Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso announced their exit from ECOWAS in January 2024. These nations were suspended from the regional group following military coups, creating a significant rift within the West African bloc.

“We are fortunate to have a new leader in place who is eager to assist in addressing the substantial issues facing ECOWAS,” President Akufo-Addo stated after his meeting with Faye.

He emphasized Faye’s potential role in mediating and reviving dialogue within the community, highlighting the urgency of restoring unity among member states.

Following their bilateral talks, President Akufo-Addo praised Faye’s commitment to ECOWAS’s reconciliation efforts.

“President Faye is dedicated to exploring what he and the rest of us can do to initiate dialogue and bring these countries back to the bloc,” he said.

Faye, who emerged as Senegal’s youngest president at 44, won widespread support as an anti-establishment candidate advocating for major reforms, marking a stark contrast to the long-standing leaders of other nations.

In his address, President Faye expressed his readiness to tackle the challenges within ECOWAS, emphasizing the importance of unity.

“We will strive to consolidate the gains made in regional integration with a spirit of common, fraternal solidarity,” he told reporters.

Faye’s remarks in Nigeria underscored a shared goal with the current ECOWAS chair, Nigeria, to persuade Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso to re-engage with the community and uphold democratic values.

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