West Africa: Statement by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on peace and democracy following the ECOWAS Summit of 16 September 2021

The European Union welcomes the leading role played by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at the Assembly of Heads of State and Government on the political situation in the Republic of Guinea and the Republic of Mali, held in Accra on 16 September.

In this context, the European Union welcomes the ECOWAS decision to initiate the review process of the 2001 Additional Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, with a view to strengthening democracy, peace and stability in the region.

The EU expresses its deep concern at the current political situations in Guinea and Mali, reaffirms its strong condemnation of the coups, and urges all actors in both countries to act in accordance with the rule of law, the interest of peace and the well-being of their populations.

In this spirit, the EU reaffirms the need for relevant political actors to ensure inclusive and peaceful transitions, including through reforms expected by the people. Compliance with clear road roadmaps leading to free, transparent and fair elections as soon as possible is therefore essential. The EU is ready to consider targeted measures against leaders, political and military, obstructing transition processes.

The European Union also joins ECOWAS in strongly denouncing any attempt by the Malian transitional authorities to resort to the Wagner paramilitary company in Mali, which would have consequences for the relationship between the European Union and the Malian transitional government.

The EU remains ready to support the transition processes in Guinea and Mali, in close collaboration with ECOWAS, the African Union, the United Nations and its other partners.

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