Panafrican News Agency

ECOWAS Mediator welcomes Burkinabe junta leader's 'openness to dialogue'

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (PANA) - Burkina Faso's military leader, Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, on Saturday met with the Mediator of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for Burkina Faso, Mahamadou Issoufou, who welcomed his openness to dialogue.

"I leave with the ECOWAS delegation comforted by the openness of mind, the openness to dialogue of the Head of State and I thank him and the government for the fraternal climate in which our talks took place," said the ECOWAS Mediator at the end of the meeting.

According to Issoufou, who is a former president of Niger, during their 48-hour visit, the ECOWAS delegation had two meetings with Lieutenant Colonel Damiba, members of the government in the presence of the President of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI). It also met diplomats accredited to Burkina Faso, according to a statement from the Presidency of Burkina Faso.

"During all these meetings, in particular with the President of Faso, we discussed issues related to security, the return to normal constitutional order, humanitarian and development issues. We emphasised the close link between all these challenges," he said.

The statement from the Burkinabe presidency noted that former President Issoufou offered his condolences to the head of state, the government and the people of Burkina Faso for terrorist attack in Seytenga in which 86 people were killed, which shows how difficult the security situation remains in the country.

The ECOWAS mediator said: "Burkina Faso is now experiencing a multidimensional crisis: security, humanitarian, political, socio-economic. To emerge from this crisis, and this is our concern, Burkina needs the support of all its friends.

"ECOWAS wishes to remain at its side and I, as Mediator, am doing my utmost to ensure that this is the case." 

ECOWAS intends to help Burkina Faso meet all these challenges "within the framework of a transition timetable acceptable to all". he added.

Appointed at the last ECOWAS Summit in Accra, Ghana, as Mediator of the crisis in Burkina Faso following a military takeover, the former President of Niger is on his first mission to Ouagadougou. He returned to Niamey on Saturday.

-0- PANA TNDD/IS/BBA/MA 19June2022