Feb 21- 2022
In Paris, on 16th February 2022, President Akufo-Addo, in his capacity as Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, participated in deliberations at the Elysee Palace, the seat of the French Presidency, to discuss security issues within the Sahel region of West Africa. Present at the meeting were member states of the G5 Sahel, as well as some EU member countries.
Addressing a press conference on the morning of 17th February 2022, President Emmanuel Macron announced the decision of the French government to withdraw its troops from Mali, citing a breakdown in relations with the Malian military junta and the difficulty in reaching consensus over the strategy deployed in the fight against violent extremism and terrorism. Present at the event were His Excellency Mr. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and Chairperson of the African Union, and His Excellency Mr. Charles Michel, President of the European Council.
At that press conference, President Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that following the announced withdrawal, ECOWAS and the international community had an obligation to re-strategize, maintain momentum and strengthen efforts to halt a potential decline in the gains made in staving off violent extremist activities. He advocated for even closer collaboration between donor partners like the European Union and West African countries. He further called for a focus on assistance from development partners to the armed forces of States engaged in the fight against terrorism, highlighting areas like training and intelligence sharing as avenues for closer partnership.