Macron wants to cooperate with ECOWAS to fight terrorism

Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday he wanted to continue “to build its action” in the region with the organization of West African states to fight terrorism “in the service of legitimate sovereign states”, during the last stage of his African tour in Guinea-Bissau.
“France will continue to build its action in the region in the service of legitimate sovereign states and this regional organization,” the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), “because we consider that our role is to help the region succeed in this battle against terrorism,” said the French president at a press briefing with his Guinea-Bissau counterpart, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, who has just taken over the presidency of the organization.
“We have always respected the position of this extremely important regional organization and I have always considered that our role was to support the decisions it takes and to be consistent with them,” Mr Macron said.
Referring to the situation in Mali, which is facing a serious security crisis and the scene of two military coups in 2020 and 2021, he said that the responsibility of ECOWAS is to work so that “the Malian people can (…) express their popular sovereignty” and “build the framework of stability” to “fight effectively against terrorist groups”.
“Since it is clear that the choices made by the Malian junta today and its de facto complicity with the Wagner militia are particularly ineffective in the fight against terrorism, this is no longer their objective and this is what led to our choice to leave Malian soil,” he added.
Relations between the ruling junta in Bamako and Paris, a former colonial power, have deteriorated sharply in recent months, particularly since the arrival in Mali of paramilitaries from the private Russian security group Wagner, pushing the two countries to the brink of breaking up after nine years of uninterrupted French presence to fight jihadists.
The President of Guinea Bissau also announced the creation of an “anti-putsch force” of ECOWAS, without giving further details, a decision welcomed by the French head of state.
Mr Embalo himself escaped a coup attempt on 1 February that left 11 people dead. ECOWAS deployed a force to the territory at the end of June to support the stabilization of the small Portuguese-speaking West African state.

About Geraldine Boechat 2715 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia