West African leaders meet in Niamey for ECOWAS Summit

The Mahatma Gandhi International Conference Centre where West African leaders gathered for the 57th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States, 7 August 2020. /Photo courtesy: ECOWAS – Twitter

West African leaders gathered in the Nigerien capital, Niamey for the 57th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Top of the agenda in Monday’s meeting at the Mahatma Gandhi International Conference Centre was the political crisis in Mali as well the COVID-19 situation in the region.

Additionally, the leaders were also expected to consider reports form the 44th Ordinary Session of the Mediation and Security Council at the Ministerial Level, and the 84th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, which preceded the Summit.

Among the leaders who travelled to Niamey for the Summit include Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari, Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo, Senegal’s Macky Sall and Gambia’s Adama Barrow.

ECOWAS has been at the frontline in trying to resolve the political crisis in Mali.

Mali’s military ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar on 18 August following weeks of protests in the country.

The 75-year-old and his Prime Minister Boubou Cisse were arrested alongside other government officials after the move by the military.

Keita was held in detention for 10 days, with the military justifying the move saying it was necessary for his own security.

He was flown abroad for medical treatment upon his release.