Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will depart for Banjul, The Gambia tomorrow before attending the 27th Africa-France Summit in Bamako, Mali on Saturday.
Mr. Buhari is scheduled to meet with outgoing Gambian President Yahya Jammeh and other West African leaders with a view towards resolving the political crisis that has unfolded in the country in the wake of the December 2016 elections. The Nigerian president will act as mediator of the dialogue, while former Ghanaian President John Mahama will serve as co-mediator.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr. Buhari and Mr. Mahama will be joined by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and Sierra Leonean President Ernest Koroma as part of an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) delegation.
In Mali, African leaders will convene for the Summit for Partnership, Peace and Emergence, organized by French President Francois Hollande. The goal of the summit is to strengthen cooperation between Africa and France in the areas of peace and security and economic development.
Mr. Buhari is expected to reiterate Nigeria’s commitment to the global war on terrorism and call for greater cooperation between African countries and France in order to adequately address the scourge of terrorism in Africa, NAN reports.
It would be recalled that in May 2016, Mr. Hollande met with the Nigerian president in Abuja and pledged to support Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, Chad, and Benin in the fight against Boko Haram. Towards this end, France agreed to provide funding and military expertise and intelligence to the West African countries.