Pres. Sirleaf in Dakar
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is in Dakar, the Senegalese capital, today to attend an Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on the crises in Mali and Guinea-Bissau.
This is the second such emergency meetings to be held in eight days to try and restore democratically elected governments to the two countries. According to an Executive Mansion release, today’s Summit is aimed at synchronizing regional responses to the unfolding political crisis in the two countries.
The Heads of State Summit will be preceded by a meeting between the seven Foreign Ministers belonging to the Contact Group set up last week in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, which comprises Benin, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea, Senegal and Togo, with Nigeria as Chair.
Last month, the sub-regional grouping called for a 12-month transition and agreed to deploy a sub-regional force in both countries. Since then, activities have accelerated in the two countries but not in the direction expected by ECOWAS.
While President Sirleaf is away from the country, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Honorable Edward B. McClain, Jr., will coordinate the affairs of government in consultation with the Vice President, Dr. Joseph N. Boakai. Madam Sirleaf and her delegation are expected to return home later this evening.