ABUJA: Minister Kemayah Reiterates Liberia’s Support for ECOWAS Mediation at the Second Summit on Niger

Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemaya Sr, Foreign Minister

(Abuja, August 11, 2023):  Liberia, a successful post- civil-war polity with experience of diplomatic and military mediations, declared its strong support for ECOWAS at the second ECOWAS Summit on Niger in Abuja, Nigeria, on August 10, 2023.

According to a release from the Embassy of Liberia in Abuja, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dean of the Cabinet of Liberia, His Excellency Dee-Maxwell Saah-Kemayah, Sr., articulated Liberia’s position  in the wake of ECOWAS robust measures against the Junta in Niger, when he represented Liberia’s President His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah at the Summit.

The Minister told the ECOWAS Authority that Liberia supported its engagements with “a careful review of the results all actions and decisions to date, including exhausting all possible avenues of preventing diplomacy with the military junta of Niger.”

Considering the obduracy of the military junta of Niger in rebuffing all recent diplomatic channels  of ECOWAS to release the detained President of Niger and his family, while resisting the call by ECOWAS to restore constitutional democracy in Niger,  Minister Kemayah called for the immediate and unconditional release and restoration to power of the democratically elected President of Niger, His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Bazoum.

He recommended public diplomacy as an innovative and effective way of framing ECOWAS narratives on measures taken in Niger for the clear understanding of ECOWAS citizens and national and international stakeholders.

The Foreign Minister asserted that this approach was necessary due to ongoing misinformation in the public domain of ECOWAS measures to restore democracy in Niger and other States in transition where the military seized power by  unconstitutional means.

He therefore recommended the ECOWAS Commission’s utility of robust public diplomacy with a clear communication strategy in framing the decisions of  ECOWAS for the clear understanding of the military junta of Niger and other stakeholders, including the neighbors of Niger, the African Union, the United Nations, and other strategic alliances and partners of ECOWAS.

This will create “the awareness and sensitization that all endeavors of the part of ECOWAS are decisions of ECOWAS and not the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he emphasized.  Nigeria is the current Chair of ECOWAS.

The Minister  disclosed Liberia’s stance to the Special Representative of the European Union (EU) for the Sahel, Ms. Emanuela C. Del Re, who had requested a meeting with him in the margins of the ECOWAS Summit in Abuja,  to discuss Liberia’s stand on ECOWAS’ intervention in Niger.

Following a detailed conversation in which the Minister contextualized Liberia support for Ukraine as part its foreign policy of zero tolerance for all unconstitutional changes in government in Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea, the EU representative thanked the Minister for Liberia’s clear position and divulged the EU’s support for ECOWAS in addressing the restoration of democracy in Niger.

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