President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said instability in some West Africa states could be best dealt with by democratically elected leaders.
“As it were, you cannot deal with security on its own without taking into account quality of governance of those who are prosecuting the battle for security, it is a mistaken view,” he added.
The President also called for closer collaboration between the UN and ECOWAS member states to help restore security and stability in the troubled countries and return them to democratic rule.
President Akufo-Addo was speaking during a meeting with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of UN Office for west Africa and Sahel, Leonardo Santos Simao at the Jubilee House in Accra last Monday.
The President said the preoccupation of most leaders in the region was about how to re-establish democratic rule in countries that had experienced coups in recent times.
“Efforts that are being made in Burkina Faso to confront the terrorists menace have not improved, they have not been able to turn the tide of terrorism in that country.
We need to restore these countries to democratic rule,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo, however, said methods to be used to address those challenges were proving to be difficult and, therefore, urged the UN to expand the mandate of its Multidimensional Integrate Stabilisation Mission that was in Mali (MINUSMA) to make it more robust and forceful.
He said it was quite clear that the relatively limited mandate MINUSMA had in Mali, including its inability to act when actions were required, made the intervention unsuccessful.
President Akufo-Addo further said in dealing with issues of security, “we cannot overlook the need to find means to propel economic growth and development of our nations”.
“We are talking about poor states with major problems of poverty and youth unemployment, and it is only by improving the economic situation that we can address these issues,” he added.
The President said as the region strove to ensure peace and stability, it should also dedicate space and time to continue the search for means to improve its economies because “that is an indispensable part of the search for stability.
This is an area the UN and ECOWAS can profitably work together, coordinate ideas and arrive at some consensus”.
For his part, Mr Simao said his outfit had briefed the UN Security Council on two occasions on the situation in Niger and the threat of terrorism and violent extremism, including issues related to governance and environmental challenges.
He said he had toured almost all the troubled areas in West Africa and held discussions with their leaders on the way forward.
Mr Simao also sought the views of President Akufo-Addo on how the UN could work better in the region to help overcome the prevailing challenges, particularly in the areas of fighting terrorism and violent crimes.