Russia-Ukraine crisis fuels soaring food prices – Buhari
The president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret’d), said in Accra on Saturday that Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine had led to soaring prices for many basic commodities, including foodstuffs.
He therefore stressed the need for African countries to find ways to support their economies to cushion the impact of war.
According to a statement by his Special Advisor on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President was speaking at the 6th Extraordinary Summit of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of African States the West on the political situations in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea. .
The statement titled “President Buhari to ECOWAS Leaders: Any decision on Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea must consider the people”, said in part: “As our economies begin to recover, the impact of the war between Russia and Ukraine has led to soaring prices for many basic commodities, including foodstuffs.
“So we have no choice but to devise ways to support our economies by becoming more creative and evolving in finding other channels of demand and supply to ensure we cushion the effects of war. and keep our economies from collapsing, and our people stay productive.
The President also urged ECOWAS leaders to consider the welfare of the vulnerable citizens of the three countries whom he described as the real victims of the unconstitutional change of power in the affected countries.
Buhari warned that the security situation in Mali and Burkina Faso had reached alarming levels with relentless attacks by extremist groups against the civilian population and military installations, worsening the humanitarian situation in both countries.
“The deteriorating humanitarian situation in Mali and Burkina Faso should be of serious concern to us as leaders in the region. As you may know, the world is still recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has destroyed the global economy.
“We must therefore ensure that whatever decision we take, we remember the mass of the populations of the affected countries, victims of the unconstitutional change of government and the harmful consequences of the isolation induced”, he said. -he declares. .
Buhari noted that although Burkina Faso’s military rulers released President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré as requested by ECOWAS leaders, further steps must be taken to ensure his safety and freedom.
He called on the Authority to review the report presented by former President Goodluck Jonathan, the ECOWAS mediator in Mali, on a transition timetable for the West African country.
He also noted that Jonathan had recommended a transition period of 16 months “as well as his other personal call and observations that we give military leaders in Mali up to 18 months to conduct elections, starting in March 2022. “.
He added, “Furthermore, Nigeria requests the Authority to consider the proposal made earlier for the President to personally travel to Bamako and present this proposal. Nigeria also welcomes the magnanimous offer of President Macky Sall (of Senegal), Speaker of the Assembly of the African Union to accompany HE President Nana Addo (of Ghana) to Bamako for this purpose.
“Based on our findings, we are confident that the proposed high-level visit would be well received by military leaders and achieve the necessary consensus. At the same time, the region must be ready to provide the necessary support for Mali to return to democratic rule as soon as possible”.
He announced that Nigeria fully supports any action, including the imposition of new sanctions that the Authority may adopt, to compel the military leaders of the two countries to submit an acceptable electoral timetable.
“Nevertheless, there is a need for ECOWAS to continue to engage the military leadership and key stakeholders in Burkina Faso and Guinea to reach an acceptable agreement, particularly on the transition timeline,” he added.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Authority and President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo thanked his counterparts for their strong commitment to democracy, peace and stability in the region and to remain focused on the situation. in the countries.
Akufo-Addo, who acknowledged the presence of African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Mahamat, said the summit hoped to find lasting solutions to the political instability and resurgence of coups in the region. since August 2020.
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