General News of Monday, 12 November 2012
The Vice President, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur returned home last nite after attending an extra-ordinary summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja, Nigeria
The meeting was to discuss an international military intervention in the political crisis in Mali and Guinea Bissau.
Briefing journalists upon arrival at the airport, Vice President Amissah-Arthur described the meeting as successful and said there was a large measure of unanimity among the heads of states who attended the meeting.
Asked whether ECOWAS was still considering a military action with particular reference to Mali, the Vice President indicated that although a military intervention is still an option, ECOWAS he noted was still pursuing diplomatic option to resolve the situation in Mali.
“The military intervention is an option; the main option we discussed was the diplomatic option.”
In the case of the Guinea Bissau, the Vice President noted that there was a major concern regarding the problems that have been created as a result of the sanctions imposed on it by the African Union and how it is affecting normal life. He added that the ECOWAS authority therefore urged the Africa Union to as a matter of urgency lift the sanctions to allow for normalcy to return to the country.
The Vice President represented Ghana in the company of Ghana’s Defence Minister, Brigadier General Joseph Henry Smith (Rtd) and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Chris Kpodo.
Before the summit, officials of ECOWAS, African Union, United Nations, European Union and other partners met in Bamako, the Malian capital, last week as part of efforts to wrap up the details of the operation to flush out the rebels.
Mali was thrown into crisis following the 22 March military coup that overthrew the nation's democratically-elected government.