Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - The 39th ordinary session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) rounded off in Nigeria's capital city of Abuja Thursday with far-reaching decisions taken by the 10 Presidents and the two Vice Presidents who attended the meeting.
According to a final communique issued after the two-day meeting, the West African leaders decided to re-admit Guinea and Niger, both of which had their membership suspended following the unconstitutional take-over of power in the countries.
''In view of the restoration of democracy, the Authority (of heads of state and government of ECOWAS) decided to lift the sanctions imposed on the Republic of Guinea, particularly with regard to the participation in all ECOWAS decision-making bodies and the arms embargo,'' said the communique, read out by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador James Victor Gbeho.
''The heads of state and government decided to lift all sanctions on the Republic of Niger in conformity with article 45 of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance,'' the communique said.
They announced a grant of US$30 million to Guinea in support of the electrification project for Conakry, and another US$63 million to Guinea Bissau to ''cover the priority activities'' of the country's Security Sector Reform Programme.
On Libya, the leaders commended the UN Security Council for the measures so far taken to address the crisis in the north African nation, and urged the African Union and the UN to continue their engagement until the situation there is resolved.
Nigeria was elected into an unprecedented third term as Chairman of the 15-member regional bloc.
Ten Presidents from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo; two Vice Presidents represented from Ghana and Gambia, and three observers from Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire and Niger attended the meeting.
Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea and Niger attended as Observers.
-0- PANA SEG 24March2011