ECOWAS Chairman Responds to MFWA’s Demand for Strong Justice Mechanism in West Africa

The Chairman of the ECOWAS and President of Ghana, John Mahama, has in a response to a call by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) for a
resilient regional justice mechanism in West Africa, indicated his commitment to carry out reforms that will lead to peace and stability in West Africa.

Ahead of a meeting of ECOWAS leaders in Accra on May 30, 2014, to discuss the challenging peace and security situation in the region, the MFWA wrote to the ECOWAS Chairman drawing his attention to the need to have a robust justice mechanism at the regional level as part of efforts to deal with the security problems in the region.

“We cannot be talking about peace and security without a commitment to ensure justice. We are, therefore, calling on the ECOWAS Chairman, to include the issue of Justice and the empowerment of the ECOWAS Court in all his agenda for peace and in his deliberations with colleague Heads of State,” the MFW stated in its letter to President Mahama.

The MFWA also expressed grave concern about the dwindling authority and capacity of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice due to overwhelming disregard of the Court’s judgements by offending member states.

In a letter signed by his Executive Secretary, Dr. Raymond Atuguba, President Mahama thanked the MFWA for its letter and indicated that the organisation’s “detailed suggestions are well noted”.

The MFWA welcomes the statement of commitment by the ECOWAS Chairman to embark on reforms that will promote Justice, fight against impunity and ultimately contribute to regional peace and stability. We particularly urge him to enforce the statutes of the ECOWAS to ensure that judgements of the Community Court are complied with by affected member states.

The MFWA will also continue to monitor the implementation of the commitments by the ECOWAS Chairman and continue to advocate for the enforcement of
judgments of the community Court as part of its Access to Justice and anti-impunity campaigns.

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