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Ghana urges Senegal's new leader to help in ECOWAS disputes

Africa
 President Bassirou Diomaye Faye. [AFP]

Ghana's president Friday urged his visiting Senegalese counterpart to use his goodwill within the Economic Community of West African States to help resolve disputes with Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali.

President Bassirou Diomaye Faye arrived in the capital Accra early in the morning after visiting Nigeria's President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso in January 2024 announced they were leaving ECOWAS after they were suspended by the group over military coups in all three nations.

"We are lucky to have a new leader in place because I think he is also going to help us to try and resolve the big problem that we have in the ECOWAS community," Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo said after meeting Faye.

"President Faye is very committed to seeing what he and the rest of us can do to reach out and revive the dialogue."

Speaking to reporters after bilateral talks, Akufo-Addo said Faye had demonstrated commitment to ECOWAS efforts to bring the three countries to the table for further talks and back to the bloc.

Faye, 44, won a resounding victory as an anti-establishment candidate promising major reforms to become Senegal's youngest-ever president.

His election has been seen as an inspiration for change in contrast to some of the continent's ageing leaders who have been in power for years and to other countries now run by military governments.

He welcomed the challenge to help reconcile ECOWAS with Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger.

ECOWAS "is going through difficult times but we are going to do all we can to consolidate the gains made in integration, in a spirit of common, fraternal solidarity," Faye told reporters.

Unity was "primordial" in the region, he added.

Earlier in Nigeria, Faye said that alongside Nigeria, which currently chairs ECOWAS, he hoped to convince the countries to "come back and share our common democratic values and what we stand for".

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