Protocol relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace-Keeping and Security, 10th December 1999 (ECOWAS Doc A/P10/12/99), OXIO 242
Economic Community of West African States [ECOWAS]
- Regional co-operation — Collective security — Competences of international organizations — Implied powers of international organizations — UN Charter — International peace and security — Peace keeping
1. The powers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the field of peacekeeping.
2. The different legal mechanisms to maintain regional peace and security.
3. The status of ECOWAS as a regional arrangement in the context of Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations.
4. The relationship between ECOWAS and the African Union.
The Protocol Relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace-keeping and Security (‘Protocol’) is a treaty which formally attributed competences in peace and security to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It forms an integral part of the ECOWAS legal order. The Protocol is not only relevant to the law of international organizations because of its subject matter, but because it represented the formal attribution of a power which had already been ‘found’ to be implied by the constituent instrument.
ECOWAS is a sub-regional organization created in Abuja in 1975. To date it counts fifteen Member States, and its main goal is to promote economic cooperation and integration, with a view towards the establishment of an economic union in West Africa.
Despite its envisaged focus, ECOWAS was quickly drawn in situations concerning peace and security amongst and within its Member States. The civil war that erupted in Liberia in 1989 led ECOWAS to take unprecedented action in the field of the maintenance of international peace and security. At the thirteenth session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government (‘Authority’), held in Banjul from 28 to 30 May 1990, military intervention in Liberia was initiated. The Authority established a Standing Mediation Committee (‘Committee’) to find a solution to the Liberian conflict. In its first summit conference held in Banjul on 6 and 7 August 1990, the the Committee established the ECOWAS Cease-fire Monitoring Group (ECOMOG)—an armed force composed of contingents from different Member States—and decided that this force would intervene in Liberia on 24th August 1990.
After the Liberian crisis, ECOWAS made two other interventions via its newly-armed force—ECOMOG. In 1997, ECOWAS intervened in Sierra Leone after a coup d’état against the democratically-elected president Tadjahan Kabbah; ECOMOG re-established the former president to power in that same year. The second intervention took place in Guinea-Bissau in June 1999 for the same reasons as those for Sierra Leone, and the ECOMOG re-established the democratically elected president João Bernardo Vieira. These two interventions took place at the request of the two democratically-elected presidents. From the perspective of the democratic legitimacy of government, these two military actions could be considered peacekeeping operations based on the consent of these two states. However, from the perspective of the effectiveness of government, these two interventions could also be considered enforcement measures, as was the case in the Liberian intervention which was decided unilaterally by ECOWAS.
Despite the fact that the Protocol on Non-Aggression—signed in Lagos on 22 April 1978—and the Protocol relating to Mutual Assistance on Defence Matters—signed in Freetown on 29 May 1981—had been concluded under the auspices of ECOWAS, the West African organization had no clear competence to undertake enforcement actions in the territories of Member States before the adoption of the Protocol. Indeed, neither of these two prior protocols, nor the ECOWAS constitutional treaty which was limited to economic issues, provided a formal legal basis for ECOWAS to make interventions.
Criticism of the interventions of ECOWAS—in spite of the ex post facto authorization given by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)—led the Authority to adopt a decision which expressed the need to establish a mechanism related to conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and security (Decision relating to the ECOWAS Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace-keeping and Security). A few months later, the Protocol was signed in Lomé, Togo on 10 December 1999; it entered into force on 1 January 2000.
The Protocol is an instrument that granted ECOWAS the legal basis to carry out actions ranging from preventive diplomacy to forcible interventions in Member States. It contains fifty-eight articles and thirteen chapters. The thirteen chapters are related respectively to: the principles and objectives of the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace-Keeping and Security (‘Mechanism’) (Chapter I); the institutions and organs of the Mechanism (Chapters II and III); the early warning system (Chapter IV); the application of the Mechanism (Chapter V); the different stages of conflict management (Chapter VI); the financing of the Mechanism (Chapter VII); humanitarian assistance (Chapter VIII); the strategy for peace building (Chapter IX); sub-regional security (Chapter X); cooperation with the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), and other international organizations (Chapter XI); and the special, general, and final provisions of the Protocol (Chapters XII and XIII).
The main objectives of the Mechanism are: the prevention, management, and resolution of internal and inter-state conflicts; the strengthening of cooperation in the areas of early warning, peacekeeping operations, control of cross-border crime, international terrorism, proliferation of small arms and anti-personnel mines; and to constitute and deploy a civilian and military force to maintain or restore peace within the sub-region whenever the need arises. [Art 3]
In order to achieve these objectives, the Protocol: entrusted certain established institutions with competences, such as the Authority; formalised certain pre-existing bodies, such as the ECOMOG; and created some new organs institutionally linked to ECOWAS, such as the Defence and Security Commission.
The Authority, the highest organ in the ECOWAS, is also at the head of the competent institutions to implement the Mechanism. [Art 6] The Authority can be represented by the Mediation and Security Council—which is composed of nine Member States, comprising seven elected members as well as the current chairman and the immediate past chairman of the Authority—to take appropriate decisions on its behalf for the implementation of the provisions of the Mechanism. [Arts 7, 8, 10]
Moreover, the Authority was to be assisted by a number of supporting organs. The Protocol institutionalized the ECOMOG and created two new organs. [Arts 21, 22] These two new organs were the Defence and Security Commission, which is charged with technical and administrative issues in the field of peacekeeping, and the Council of Elders, which is composed of eminent personalities who, on behalf of ECOWAS, can use their good offices and experience to play the role of mediators, conciliators, and facilitators. [Arts 19, 20]
The adoption of the Protocol enabled ECOWAS to overcome legal uncertainties related to its interventions in the 1990s, and to achieve revision of its constitutive treaty (Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States (‘Constitutive Treaty’)).
Firstly, the Protocol made it possible to define the ECOWAS definitively and unambiguously in the category of regional agencies within the meaning of Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations (‘UN Charter’). Indeed, to become a regional agreement or agency within the meaning of Chapter VIII, an organization must have competence in the field of the maintenance of international peace and security. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) confirmed this unique condition in 1998 in its case concerning the Land and Maritime Boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria. The ICJ, on the question of the qualification of the Lake Chad Basin Commission as a regional agency, asserted that: ‘[f]rom the treaty texts and the practice analysed at paragraphs 64 and 65 above, it emerges that the Lake Chad Basin Commission is an international organization exercising its powers within a specific geographical area; that it does not however have as its purpose the settlement at a regional level of matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security and thus does not fall under Chapter VIII of the [UN] Charter’ (Land and Maritime Boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria, pages 306–307).
The Protocol is, in a certain way, the final stage of an ECOWAS reform process that started with the intervention in Liberia. The competencies of ECOWAS were limited to economic matters, and military interventions could not fall within the scope of its implied powers; thus, ECOWAS amended its Constitutive Treaty by adding a new article in 1993 to formalize this new competence in the field of peacekeeping (Revised Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States (‘Revised Treaty’)). The new article—Article 58—related to regional security, and provides that ‘Member States shall undertake to cooperate with [ECOWAS] with a view to establishing and strengthening appropriate mechanisms for the prevention and timely resolution of conflicts [i]nter and intra-state, with particular emphasis on the need … [to] establish a regional peace and security observatory and, where appropriate, the [p]eacekeeping [f]orces’ (Article 58 Revised Treaty).
This Protocol was the embryo of the coercive power of ECOWAS. It included intra-state conflicts and provided the possibility of establishing peacekeeping forces. Nevertheless, the Protocol was not sufficient in the long run to take into account the full scope of the potential peacekeeping operations of ECOWAS. The Revised Treaty further provided that: ‘the detailed provisions governing political cooperation, regional peace and stability shall be defined in the relevant [p]rotocols’ (Article 58 Revised Treaty). In this sense, the Protocol constituted an important step in the quest of ECOWAS to acquire a coercive power.
Despite the adoption of a formal instrument that provided a legal basis for operations to maintain peace and security, interventions of ECOWAS still raise complex legal issues; in particular, questions remain outstanding regarding the legality of action by ECOWAS vis-à-vis the Constitutive Act of the African Union and the UN Charter—all ECOWAS Member States are parties to both instruments.
Obviously, interaction between the UN and regional bodies in the field of peacekeeping is a complex matter. Yet, the fact that the UNSC has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, combined with the priority of application of the duties arising from the UN Charter (Articles 53 and 103 UN Charter), settles the ‘competition for competences’ in favour of the UNSC.
From the outset, the UNSC asserted its authority over ECOWAS, in United Nations Security Council Resolution 788 on Liberia, adopted 19 November 1992, related to the Liberian situation; in which the UNSC recalled the provisions of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter before commending the efforts of ECOWAS to restore peace and security in Liberia.
In this sense, the Protocol recognized the supremacy of the UNSC by recalling Article 53 of the UN Charter in its Preamble, and by providing that ‘in accordance with Chapters VII and VIII of the [UN Charter], ECOWAS shall inform the [UN] of any military intervention undertaken in pursuit of the objectives of this Mechanism’. [Art 52]
However, the conflict of competence between ECOWAS and the AU, which appeared to be more complex, was not resolved by the Protocol. The possibility of contradictory decisions of these two regional organizations in the field of peacekeeping in West Africa raises a complicated legal dilemma. Should Member States apply AU decisions due to their political weight, or should they implement the decisions of ECOWAS, which is a more integrated and specialized organization?
Despite a few clues in the Protocol and, principally, in the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (Article 16)—which was adopted in Durban the 9 July 2002 and gave priority to the AU—the AU’s relationship with ECOWAS was not clear until the adoption of the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the area of peace and security between the African Union, the Regional Economic Communities and the Coordinating Mechanism of the Regional Standby Brigades of Eastern Africa and Northern Africa (‘Memorandum’) which was signed in June 2008. [Art 2, 26(e), 27, 41]
This Memorandum—which is a treaty between international organizations—organized relations and cooperation between the AU and African sub-regional organizations, including ECOWAS, in the field of peacekeeping in Africa. The Memorandum resolved the problem of the ‘competition for competences’ in favour of the AU by providing that: ‘the implementation of the Memorandum shall be guided by … recognition of, and respect for, the primary responsibility of the [AU] in the maintenance and promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa, in accordance with Article 16 of the Protocol relating to the establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the [African Union]’ (Article IV Memorandum).
The scope of the Protocol appeared to meet the security needs of the region. Indeed, alongside inter-state conflicts, the Mechanism can be implemented: ‘[i]n cases of aggression or conflict in any Member State or threat thereof; [i]n case of conflict between two or several Member States; [i]n case of internal conflict … that threatens to trigger a humanitarian disaster … or … that poses a serious threat to peace and security in the sub-region; [and] [i]n event of serious and massive violation of human rights and the rule of law’. [Art 25] It also includes instances of attempts to overthrow a democratically elected government and ‘[a]ny other situation as may be decided by the Mediation and Security Council’. [Art 25]
It was due to this Protocol that the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance was signed in Dakar on 21 December 2001. This latter extended the possibility of implementing the Mechanism to the case of undemocratic maintenance in power—as in the Gambian situation.
The main criticism addressed to this Mechanism is its attempt to be too ambitious in managing several situations, in relation to the limited financial and logistical resources of the organization.
The ECOWAS mission in Côte d'Ivoire, also known as ECOFORCE, was the first implementation of the Mechanism since the entry to force of the Protocol. On 30 October 2002, under the auspices of the Togolese President—a coordinator of the ECOWAS—, the Ivory Coast Government and the Patriotic Movement of Cote d’Ivoire—known as the rebel forces— signed an agreement including a ceasefire, and accepted the deployment of the ECOMOG.
At the Dakar Summit, on 20 December 2002, the Authority decided to create the ECOMOG force that was to be deployed on 31 December 2002 (see Final Communique: extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS in Dakar). Its mandate was essentially to monitor the cessation of hostilities, facilitate the return to normal administrative life and the free movement of persons and goods, contribute to the implementation of the peace agreement, disarm the forces of the rebel movement, and ensure the security of its forces in certain areas, as well as that of observers and humanitarian agencies.
At time of writing, the most recent operation under the Mechanism, called ‘Restore Democracy’, took place in Gambia in January 2017. After the defeat of the former President Yaya Jammeh in the presidential elections of 1 December 2016 and his maintaining power by force, ECOWAS used both mediation and armed force, and entered the Gambian territory on 18 January 2017 without using military force, in order to ensure that the outgoing president passed power onto Adama Barrow, the winner of the presidential elections.
Further analysis of Relevant Materials
- Memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the area of peace and security between the African Union, the Regional Economic Communities and the Coordinating Mechanism of the Regional Standby Brigades of Eastern Africa and Northern Africa (June 2008)
- Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (signed 9 July 2002, entered into force 23 December 2003) [2d158882-800e-49c6-adb0-b0beaaaa668b]
- Constitutive Act (signed 11 July 2000, entered into force 26 May 2001) 2158 UNTS 3; UN Reg No I-37733; OAU Doc CAB/LEG/23.15
Economic Community of West African States
- Final Communique: extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS in Dakar (18 December 2002) S/2002/1386
- Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance (signed 21 December 2001, entered into force 20 February 2008) A/SP1/12/01
- Decision relating to the ECOWAS Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace-keeping and Security (31 October 1998) A/DEC.11/10/98
- Revised Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) (signed 24 July 1993, entered into force 23 August 1995) 2373 UNTS 233; UN Reg No I-42835; (1996) 35 ILM 664
- Protocol relating to Mutual Assistance on Defence Matters (signed 29 May 1981, entered into force September 1986) 1690 UNTS 51; UN Reg No I-29137
- Protocol on Non-Aggression (signed 22 April 1978, entered into force 13 May 1982) 1690 UNTS 39; UN Reg No I-29136
- Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States (signed 28 May 1975, entered into force 28 May 1975) 1010 UNTS 18; UN Reg No I-14843
- Charter of the United Nations (signed 26 June 1945, entered into force 24 October 1945) 1 UNTS XVI
United Nations Security Council
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 788 on Liberia (19 November 1992) UN Doc S/RES/788 (1992)
WE, THE HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT OF THE MEMBER STATES OF THE ECONOMIC COMMUNITY OF WEST AFRICAN STATES (ECOWAS);
MINDFUL OF the ECOWAS Revised Treaty signed in Cotonou on 23 July 1993 notably its Article 58;
MINDFUL OF the relevant provisions of the Charter of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU);
MINDFUL OF the United Nations Charter, with particular reference to its Chapters VI, VII and VIII;
MINDFUL OF the provisions of Protocols A/P1/5/79, A/SP2/7/85, A/SP1/7/86, A/SP1/6/88, A/SP2/5/90 relating to the free movement of persons, the right of residence and establishment;
RECALLING the Protocol on Non-Aggression signed in Lagos on 22 April 1978 and the Protocol on Mutual Assistance in Defence signed in Freetown on 29 May 1981, notably our resolve to give mutual aid and assistance for defence against any armed threat or aggression on a Member State;
CONSIDERING the Framework Agreement of the Protocol on Non-Aggression and Assistance in Defence (ANAD) signed in Abidjan on 9 June 1977;
CONSIDERING ALSO the Protocol on the enforcement of the above-mentioned Framework Agreement signed in Dakar on 14 December 1981, as well as the subsequent Protocols;
REAFFIRMING our commitment to the ECOWAS Declaration of Political Principles adopted in Abuja on 6 July 1991, on freedom, people’s rights and democratisation;
RECALLING the relevant provisions of the ECOWAS Conventions on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and on Extradition, signed in Dakar on 29 July 1992 and in Abuja on 6 August 1994, respectively;
RECALLING ALSO the Cairo Declaration of 29 June 1993 on the establishment of a Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution in Africa adopted by the 29th Session of the OAU Conference of Heads of State and Government;
CONCERNED about the proliferation of conflicts which constitute a threat to the peace and security in the African continent, and undermines our efforts to improve the living standards of our peoples;
CONVINCED OF the need to develop effective policies that will alleviate the suffering of the civil population, especially women and children, and, restore life to normalcy after conflicts or natural disasters, and desirous of making further efforts in the humanitarian sphere;
CONSCIOUS OF THE FACT that good governance, the rule of law and sustainable development are essential for peace and conflict prevention;
RECALLING the Declaration of the moratorium on the Importation, Exportation and Manufacture of Light Weapons, adopted by the 21st Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, held in Abuja on 30 and 31 October, 1998;
RECALLING also the conclusions of the meeting of ECOWAS Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the effective implementation of PCASED, held in Bamako on 24 March, 1999;
CONVINCED that cross-border crimes, the proliferation of small arms and all illicit trafficking contribute to the development of insecurity and instability and jeopardise the economic and social development of the sub-region;
AWARE that these phenomena constitute serious social and economic problems which can only be resolved within the framework of increased and well-coordinated multilateral cooperation;
RECOGNISING the need to make the relevant treaties and protocols more adequate, effective and pragmatic;
DESIRING to consolidate our achievements in the resolution of conflicts through the ECOWAS Cease-fire Monitoring Group (ECOMOG).
RECALLING our Decision A/DEC.11/10/98 adopted in Abuja on 31 October 1998, relating to the ECOWAS Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace-keeping and Security;
DESIROUS to establish an operational structure for the implementation of the said Decision;
Hereby Agree On the Following:
For the purposes of this Protocol;
"Treaty" means the revised Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) signed in Cotonou on 24 July 1993;
"Community" means the Economic Community of West African States referred to under Article 2 of the Treaty;
"Authority" means the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States established by Article 7 of the Treaty;
"Mediation and Security Council" means the Mediation and Security Council as defined by Article 8 of this Protocol;
"Defence and Security Commission" means the Defence and Security Commission as defined in Article 18 of this Protocol;
"Executive Secretary" means the ECOWAS Executive Secretary appointed in accordance with Article 18 of the Treaty;
"Council of Elders" means the Council of Elders as defined in Article 20 of this Protocol;
"Meeting of Ambassadors" means the meeting of Ambassadors as defined by Article 14 of this Protocol;
"Special Representative" means the Special Representative as defined by Article 32 of this Protocol;
"Deputy Executive Secretary" means the Deputy Executive Secretary in charge of Political Affairs, Defence and Security as referred to in Article 16 of this Protocol;
"Institution" means any of the structures provided for under Article 4 of this Protocol;
"Organ" means any of the structures provided for under Article 17 of this Protocol;
"Observation and Monitoring Centre" means the Regional Peace and Security Monitoring Centre as provided for under Article 58 of the Treaty and referred to in Article 23 of this Protocol;
"ECOMOG" means the ECOWAS Cease-fire Monitoring Group which constitutes the Community’s intervention force as defined in Article 21 of this Protocol;
"Force Commander" means the Force Commander appointed in accordance with the provisions of Article 33 of this Protocol;
"Trans-border crime" refers to all crimes organised or perpetrated by individuals, organisations or networks of local and/ or foreign criminals operating beyond the national boundaries of a Member State, or acting in complicity with associates based in one or several States adjoining the country where the crimes are actually committed or having any connection with any Member State;
"Member State in crisis" refers both to a Member State experiencing an armed conflict as well as a Member State facing serious and persisting problems or situations of extreme tension which, if left unchecked, could lead to serious humanitarian disaster or threaten peace and security in the sub-region or in any Member State affected by the overthrow or attempted overthrow of a democratically elected government.
Chapter I Establishment, Principles and Objectives of the Mechanism
Article 1: Establishment
There is hereby established within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a mechanism for collective security and peace to be known as "Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace-keeping and Security".
Article 2: Principles
Member States reaffirm their commitment to the principles contained in the Charters of the United Nations Organisation (UNO) and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, particularly the following fundamental principles:
a) that economic and social development and the security of peoples and States are inextricably linked;
b) promotion and reinforcement of the free movement of persons, the right of residence and establishment which contribute to the reinforcement of good neighbourliness;
c) promotion and consolidation of a democratic government as well as democratic institutions in each Member State;
d) protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms and the rules of international humanitarian laws;
e) equality of sovereign States;
f) territorial integrity and political independence of Member States;
Article 3: Objectives of the Mechanism
The objectives of the Mechanism shall be as follows:
a) prevent, manage and resolve internal and inter-State conflicts under the conditions provided in Paragraph 46 of the Framework of the Mechanism ratified as per Decision A/DEC.11/10/98 of 31 October 1998;
b) implement the relevant provisions of Article 58 of the Revised Treaty;
c) implement the relevant provisions of the Protocols on Non-Aggression, Mutual Assistance in Defence, Free Movement of Persons, the Right of Residence and Establishment;
d) strengthen cooperation in the areas of conflict prevention, early-warning, peace-keeping operations, the control of cross-border crime, international terrorism and proliferation of small arms and anti-personnel mines;
e) maintain and consolidate peace, security and stability within the Community;
f) establish institutions and formulate policies that would allow for the organisation and coordination of humanitarian relief missions;
g) promote close cooperation between Member States in the areas of preventive diplomacy and peace-keeping;
h) constitute and deploy a civilian and military force to maintain or restore peace within the sub-region, whenever the need arises;
i) set up an appropriate framework for the rational and equitable management of natural resources shared by neighbouring Member States which may be causes of frequent inter-State conflicts;
j) protect the environment and take steps to restore the degraded environment to its natural state;
k) safeguard the cultural heritage of Member States;;
l) formulate and implement policies on anti-corruption, money-laundering and illegal circulation of small arms.
Chapter II Institutions of the Mechanism
Article 4 : Institutions
The institutions of the Mechanism shall be:
The Mediation and Security Council;
The Executive Secretariat;
Any other institution as may be established by the Authority.
Article 5: Composition and Meetings of the Authority
The Authority is composed of Heads of State and Government of Member States as stipulated in Paragraph 1, Article 7 of the Revised Treaty.
The Authority shall meet as often as necessary.
Article 6: Functions
The Authority shall be the Mechanism’s highest decision-making body.
It shall have powers to act on all matters concerning conflict prevention, management
and resolution, peace-keeping, security, humanitarian support, peace-building, control of cross-border crime, proliferation of small arms, as well as all other matters covered by the provisions of this Mechanism.
Article 7: Delegation of Powers
Without prejudice to its wide-ranging powers as provided under Article 9 of the Treaty and in Article 6 above, the Authority hereby mandates the Mediation and Security Council to take, on its behalf, appropriate decisions for the implementation of the provisions of this Mechanism.
Article 8: Composition of the Mediation and Security Council
The Mediation and Security Council shall comprise nine (9) Member States of which seven (7) shall be elected by the Authority. The other two (2) members shall be the current chairman and the immediate past chairman of the Authority, each of whom shall have an automatic right to membership of the Mediation and Security Council.
The elected Members of the Mediation and Security Council shall serve for two (2) years renewable.
Article 9: Quroum and Decisions
The meeting of the Mediation and Security Council shall be properly constituted when at least two-thirds of its Members are present.
Decisions of the Mediation and Security Council shall be taken by a two-thirds majority vote of Members present.
Article 10: Functions
The Mediation and Security Council shall take decisions on issues of peace and security in the sub-region on behalf of the Authority. It shall also implement all the provisions of this Protocol.
Pursuant to the provisions of Article 7 of this Protocol and Paragraph 1 above, the Mediation and Security Council shall:
a) decide on all matters relating to peace and security;
b) decide and implement all policies for conflict prevention, management and resolution, peace-keeping and security;
c) authorise all forms of intervention and decide particularly on the deployment of political and military missions;
d) approve mandates and terms of reference for such missions;
e) review the mandates and terms of reference periodically, on the basis of evolving situations;
f) on the recommendation of the Executive Secretary, appoint the Special Representative of the Executive Secretary and the Force Commander.
Article 11: Meetings of the Mediation and Security Council
Deliberations of the Mediation and Security Council shall be held at three (3) levels: Heads of State and Government, Ministerial and Ambassadorial levels.
All meetings of the Mediation and Security Council shall be presided over by the Member State elected as the current Chairman of the Authority.
Article 12: Meeting at the Level of Heads of State and Government
The Heads of State and Government of the Mediation and Security Council shall meet at least twice a year in ordinary sessions. Extraordinary Sessions may be convened by the Chairman when the need arises or at the request of a simple majority of the Members of the Council.
The Heads of State and Government of the Mediation and Security Council shall take final decisions on all issues under their authority and competence, including field missions and approve the terms of reference, for such missions.
Article 13: Meeting at the Ministerial Level
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Internal Affairs and Security of the Mediation Security Council shall meet at least once every three (3) months to review the general political and security situation in the sub-region. They may also meet when the need arises.
The recommendations emanating from the Ministerial meetings shall be submitted to the member Heads of State and Government of the Mediation and Security Council.
Article 14: Meeting at the Ambassadorial Level
ECOWAS Member States shall accredit Ambassadors as permanent representatives to the ECOWAS Executive Secretariat. These Ambassadors may also be those accredited to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Ambassadors of Member States of the Mediation and Security Council shall meet once a month to review issues relating to sub-regional peace and security. They may also meet when the need arises.
All reports and recommendations of meetings of the Ambassadors shall be forwarded by the Executive Secretary to all Member States of the Mediation and Security Council and to the Member States concerned. The Reports shall also be submitted for consideration by the meeting of Ministers of the Mediation and Security Council.
Article 15: Role and Functions of the Executive Secretary
The Executive Secretary shall have the power to initiate actions for conflict prevention, management, resolution, peace-keeping and security in the sub-region. Such actions may include fact-finding, mediation, facilitation, negotiation and reconciliation of parties in conflict.
The role of the Executive Secretary shall include the following:
a) recommend the appointment of the Special Representative and the Force Commander for approval by the Mediation and Security Council ;
b) appoint members of the Council of Elders;
c) have responsibility for political, administrative and operational activities and provide logistic support for the mission;
d) prepare periodic reports on activities of the Mechanism for the Mediation and Security Council and Member States;
e) deploy fact-finding and mediation missions, on the basis of his/her assessment of the existing situation;
f) convene, in consultation with the Chairman of the Authority, all meetings of the Mediation and Security Council, the Council of Elders, and the Defence and Security Commission;
g) Implement all decisions of the Mediation and Security Council.
The ECOWAS Secretariat shall service the Mediation and Security Council and the Defence and Security Commission.
In implementing the provisions of this Mechanism, the Executive Secretary shall be assisted by the Deputy Executive Secretary in charge of Political Affairs, Defence and Security.
Article 16: The Deputy Executive Secretary
1. Under the direction of the Executive Secretary, the Deputy Executive Secretary in charge of Political Affairs, Defence and Security shall initiate and undertake all activities relating to the implementation of the Mechanism.
2. The office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Political Affairs, Defence and Security, shall be headed by a statutory officer appointed in accordance with Paragraph 4 (a), Article 18 of the Treaty. He shall have under his supervision appropriate departments, divisions and sections, as may be necessary, including:
a) the Department of Political Affairs;
b) the Department of Humanitarian Affairs;
c) the Department of Defence and Security;
d) the Observation and Monitoring Centre; and
e) such other departments as may be established by the Council of Ministers on the recommendation of the Mediation and Security Council.
Chapter III Supporting Organs of the Institutions of the Mechanism
In carrying out their missions, the Institutions stipulated in Article 4 shall be assisted by the organs enumerated in Article 17 of this Protocol.
Article 17: Organs
The following organs are hereby established to assist the Mediation and Security Council.
The Defence and Security Commission;
The Council of Elders;
ECOWAS Cease-fire Monitoring Group ( ECOMOG).
Article 18: Composition of the Defence and Security Commission
The following representatives from Member States shall constitute the Defence and Security Commission:
a) Chiefs of Defence Staff or equivalent;
b) Officers responsible for Internal Affairs and Security ;
c) Experts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
d) Depending on the agenda, Heads of any of the following services may be invited:
g) Drug/Narcotic Agencies;
h) Border Guards; and
i) Civil Protection Force.
Article 19: Functions
The Defence and Security Commission shall examine all technical and administrative issues and assess logistical requirements for peace-keeping operations. It shall assist the Mediation and Security Council in:
a) formulating the mandate of the Peace-keeping Force;
b) defining the terms of reference for the Force;
c) appointing the Force Commander;
d) determining the composition of the Contingents.
The Defence and Security Commission shall meet once every quarter and when necessary. The Commission shall examine reports from the Observation and Monitoring Centres and make recommendations to the Mediation and Security Council.
Article 20: Composition and Mandate of the Council of Elders
The Executive Secretary shall compile annually, a list of eminent personalities who, on behalf of ECOWAS, can use their good offices and experience to play the role of mediators, conciliators and facilitators. The list shall comprise eminent persons from various segments of society, including women, political, traditional and religious leaders. The list shall be approved by the Mediation and Security Council at the level of the Heads of State and Government.
These Personalities shall be requested by the Executive Secretary or the Mediation and Security Council, whenever the need arises, to deal with a given conflict situation.
Whenever the circumstances require, the Executive Secretary shall assemble eminent personalities from the approved list who shall now constitute the Council of Elders.
The composition and mandate of the Council of Elders shall be defined by the Executive Secretary on the basis of the missions to be carried out.
Members of the Council of Elders selected to deal with a given situation shall report to the Executive Secretary.
The Executive Secretary shall report to the Mediation and Security Council on the initiatives taken in conformity with the provisions of Paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Article
Members of the Council of Elders shall be neutral, impartial and objective in carrying out their mission.
Article 21: Composition of ECOMOG
The ECOWAS Cease-fire Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) is a structure composed of several Stand-by multi-purpose modules (civilian and military) in their countries of origin and ready for immediate deployment.
Article 22: Role of ECOMOG
ECOMOG is charged, among others, with the following missions:
a) Observation and Monitoring;
b) Peace-keeping and restoration of peace;
c) Humanitarian intervention in support of humanitarian disaster;
d) Enforcement of sanctions, including embargo;
e) Preventive deployment;
f) Peace-building, disarmament and demobilisation;
g) Policing activities, including the control of fraud and organised crime;
h) Any other operations as may be mandated by the Mediation and Security Council.
Chapter IV Sub-Regional Peace and Security Observation System (Early Warning)
A sub-regional peace and security observation system known as the Early Warning System or "The System" is hereby established for the purposes of conflict prevention and in accordance with Article 58 of the Revised Treaty. The System shall consist of:
a. Observation and Monitoring Centre located at the Secretariat;
b. Observation and Monitoring Zones within the sub-region.
Article 23: Observation and Monitoring Centre
The Observation and Monitoring Centre shall be responsible for data collection and analyses and preparation of reports for the use of the Executive Secretariat.
The Centre shall collaborate with the United Nations Organisation, the Organisation of African Unity, research centres and all other relevant international regional and sub-regional organisations.
Article 24: Observation and Monitoring Zones
Member States shall be divided into zones on the basis of proximity, ease of communication and efficiency. Each zone shall be identified by a number and each shall have a zonal headquarters. The following four (4) Observation and Monitoring Zones are hereby created:
Zone N° Countries Zonal Capital
Cape Verde - Banjul
Burkina Faso - Ouagadougou
Ghana - Monrovia
Benin - Cotonou
The zoning provided for in Paragraph 1 above may be altered, if necessary, by the Authority of Heads of State and Government.
Each zonal headquarters shall be provided with an office and placed under the authority of the Executive Secretary, through the office of the Deputy Executive Secretary.
Member States hereby undertake to guarantee the freedom of operations of the zonal headquarters in accordance with the privileges, immunities and security to property, assets and staff of the bureaux as provided by the ECOWAS General Convention on Privileges and Immunities and the Headquarters Agreement.
The Zonal Bureau shall maintain working relations with the host country and local and international institutions.
The Zonal Bureaux shall, on a state by state and day-to-day basis, collect data on indicators that impact on the peace and security of the zone and the sub-region.
The Zonal Headquarters shall process the data collected and prepare a report which they shall send to the Observation and Monitoring Centre. Accordingly, each of the Zonal Headquarters shall be directly linked by appropriate communication means to the Observation and Monitoring Centre.
Chapter V Application of the Mechanism
Article 25: Conditions for Application
The Mechanism shall be applied in any of the following circumstances:
In cases of aggression or conflict in any Member State or threat thereof;
In case of conflict between two or several Member States;
In case of internal conflict:
a) that threatens to trigger a humanitarian disaster, or
b) that poses a serious threat to peace and security in the sub-region;
In event of serious and massive violation of human rights and the rule of law.
In the event of an overthrow or attempted overthrow of a democratically elected government;
Any other situation as may be decided by the Mediation and Security Council.
Article 26: Authority to Initiate
The Mechanism shall be put into effect by any of the following:
a) Upon the decision of the Authority;
b) Upon the decision of the Mediation and Security Council;
c) At the request of a Member State;
d) On the initiative of the Executive Secretary;
e) At request of the Organisation of African Unity or the United Nations.
Article 27: Procedure
The Mechanism shall be applied according to any of the following procedures:
The Executive Secretary shall inform Member States of the Mediation and Security Council and, in consultation with the Chairman, take all necessary and urgent measures;
The Mediation and Security Council shall consider several options and decide on the most appropriate course of action to take in terms of intervention. Such options may include recourse to the Council of Elders, the dispatch of fact-finding missions, political and mediation missions or intervention by ECOMOG;
The Mediation and Security Council shall issue a mandate authorising the Executive Secretary to set up a mission and define its terms of reference;
Where necessary, the Mediation and Security Council shall appoint the principal officers, such as the Special Representative of the Executive Secretary and the ECOMOG Force Commander.
The Chairman of the Mediation and Security Council shall submit a report on the situation to the Organisation of African Unity and the United Nations;
The Executive Secretariat shall mobilise all the resources required for the operations.
Chapter VI Conflict Management
Article 28: Composite Stand-by Units
Member States hereby agree to make available to ECOMOG units adequate resources for the army, air force, navy, gendarmerie, police and all other military, paramilitary or civil formations necessary for the accomplishment of the mission.
Each Member State shall provide ECOMOG with a unit the size of which shall be determined after consultation with each Member State.
The strengths of these units shall be reviewed according to the situation on the ground.
Article 29: Mandates of the Force and Missions of Deployed Units
Whenever the force is deployed, the strength, mandates and missions of the units shall vary according to the evolving situation on the ground.
Article 30: Training and Preparation of the Composite Stand-by Units
The Executive Secretary, through the departments concerned and, in consultation with Member States, shall contribute to the in training of civilian and military personnel that shall be part of the stand-by units in various fields, particularly in international humanitarian law and human rights.
In this regard, he shall:
a) support the development of common training programmes and instruction manuals for national schools and training centres;.
b) organise training and proficiency courses for personnel of the units in the regional centres in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana;
c) work towards the integration of these centres into sub-regional centres for the implementation of this Mechanism.
d) take the necessary measures for the organisation of periodic staff and commanders’ exercises and joint operations.
Article 31: Observation Missions
Unarmed civilian and military personnel provided by Member States may be deployed alone or in conjunction with armed personnel. They shall, inter alia, supervise and monitor cease-fires, disarmament, de-mobilisation, elections, respect for human rights, humanitarian activities and investigate any complaints or claims brought to their notice. They shall undertake such other activities under the terms of reference as determined by the Mediation and Security Council.
The Observer Missions shall report on their activities and findings to the Executive Secretary.
Article 32: Appointment and Functions of the Special Representative
On the recommendation of the Executive Secretary the Mediation and Security Council shall appoint a Special Representative for each Operation undertaken by ECOMOG.
The principal role and functions of the Special Representative shall include the following:
a) Serve as the Chief of the Mission and shall be responsible for the political orientation of the mission;
b) Direct peace-keeping activities and initiate political and diplomatic negotiations with the parties, neighbouring States and other Governments involved in conflict resolution;
c) Brief troop-contributing States and other States on the situation and operations of the mission as and when required;
d) Coordinate activities of the sub-regional and international organisations, including NGOs involved in humanitarian relief and peace-building activities in the mission area. Where necessary, he shall be assisted by a Deputy responsible for humanitarian affairs;
e) Maintain constant contact with and submit regular reports to the Executive Secretary.
Article 33: Appointment and Functions of the ECOMOG Force Commander
On the recommendation of the Executive Secretary an ECOMOG Force Commander shall be appointed by the Mediation and Security Council and in consultation with the Defence and Security Commission for each operation.
The role and functions of the ECOMOG Force Commander shall include the following:
a) He shall be responsible for the efficiency of operational, administrative and logistical plans of the mission;
b) He shall issue instructions to contingent commanders for all operational activities.
c) He shall ensure the security of personnel and materiel of humanitarian organisations’ in the mission area.
d) The ECOMOG Force Commander is accountable to the Executive Secretary, through the Special Representative.
Article 34: The Chain of Command
The Special Representative shall report directly to the Executive Secretary.
The Force Commander shall report to the Executive Secretary through his Special Representative.
All Contingent Commanders shall report directly to the Force Commander.
All Civil Units shall report directly to the Special Representative.
Article 35: Role of Member States
In addition to their responsibilities as stipulated by the Treaty and this Protocol:
Each Member State shall immediately, upon request, release Stand-by Units with the necessary equipment and materiel;
Member States hereby undertake to fully cooperate with ECOWAS in carrying out the mandates of this Protocol, including all forms of assistance and support required for the Mechanism, especially as regards the free movement of ECOMOG within their territories.
Chapter VII Financing of the Mechanism
Article 36: Funding
The Executive Secretariat shall make provision in its annual budget, for funds to finance activities of the Mechanism. As soon as the Protocol governing conditions for application of the Community Levy enters into force, a percentage of the said Levy shall be earmarked for these activities.
Special requests for funds shall be made to the United Nations and other international agencies.
Funds for operations may also be raised from the OAU, voluntary contributions and grants from bilateral and multilateral sources.
Article 37: Pre-Financing
The States contributing contingents may be invited to bear the cost of operations during the first three (3) months.
ECOWAS shall refund the expenditure incurred by the States within a maximum period of six (6) months and then proceed to finance the operations.
Article 38: Logistical Support
The organisation of logistics, including troop transport, shall be determined by the Executive Secretariat in consultation with the host country and the States contributing troops.
Chapter VIII Humanitarian Assistance
Article 40: Responsibilities of ECOWAS
ECOWAS shall intervene to alleviate the suffering of the populations and restore life to normalcy in the event of crises, conflict and disaster.
In this regard, ECOWAS shall develop own capacity to efficiently undertake humanitarian actions for the purposes of conflict prevention and management.
Where the environment of a Member State is gravely devastated, appropriate steps shall be taken to rehabilitate it.
ECOWAS shall recognise, encourage and support the role of women in its initiatives for conflict prevention, management, resolution, peace-keeping and security.
Article 41: Cooperation with Other Organisations
ECOWAS shall cooperate with the following institutions and organisations:
a) national, regional NGOs and religious organisations;
b) Organisation of African Unity, the United Nations and its agencies;
c) other international organisations intervening in the humanitarian sector.
The ECOMOG unit shall be adequately equipped to undertake humanitarian activities in their mission area under the control of the Special Representative of the Executive Secretary.
ECOMOG shall provide assistance to all national, regional and international agencies, particularly on security issues.
When necessary, ECOMOG shall coordinate the activities of humanitarian agencies in the field.
Chapter IX Peace-Building
The Community hereby adopts a graduated strategy for building peace which shall be implemented as a continuum.
Article 42: ECOWAS Institutional Capacity for Peace-Building
To stem social and political upheavals, ECOWAS shall be involved in the preparation, organisation and supervision of elections in Member States. ECOWAS shall also monitor and actively support the development of democratic institutions of Member States.
ECOWAS shall endeavour to assist Member States emerging from conflicts to increase their capacity for national, social, economic and cultural reconstruction.
In this regard, all ECOWAS financial institutions shall develop policies to facilitate funding for reintegration and reconstruction programmes.
Article 43: Peace-Building During Hostilities
In zones of relative peace, priority shall be accorded to implementation of policies designed to reduce degradation of social and economic conditions arising from conflicts.
Article 44: Peace-building at the End of Hostilities
To assist Member States that have been adversely affected by violent conflicts, ECOWAS shall undertake the following activities:
a) Consolidation of the peace that has been negotiated;
b) establishment of conditions for the political, social and economic reconstruction of the society and governmental institutions;
c) Implementation of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programmes including those for child soldiers;
d) Resettlement and reintegration of refugees and internally displaced persons;
e) Assistance to vulnerable persons, including children, the elderly, women and other traumatised groups in the society.
Article 45: Restoration of Political Authority
In situations where the authority of government is absent or has been seriously eroded, ECOWAS shall support processes towards the restoration of political authority. Such support may include the preparation, organisation, monitoring and management of the electoral process, with the cooperation of relevant regional and international organisations. The restoration of political authority shall be undertaken at the same time as the development of respect for human rights, enhancement of the rule of law and the judiciary.
Chapter X Sub-Regional Security
Article 46: Control of Trans-Border Crime
In order to facilitate the control of trans-border crime, ECOWAS shall promote close cooperation among the security services of Member States.
The security services of Member States shall assist one another and ensure proper coordination for the apprehension of criminals.
Member States shall establish specialised departments within their ministries of Justice, Defence and Security with trained personnel and communication equipment for coordination and centralisation of cooperation matters in particular, mutual assistance in criminal matters, and extradition requests.
Member States shall supply the Executive Secretariat with documents setting out the details of criminal procedures in their countries. The information provided by Member States shall include a summary of the criminal process, from beginning to end, and shall outline what is needed for each State to grant a request for mutual assistance, extradition or the restraint or forfeiture of proceeds of crime. Member States shall also provide all the contract particulars for their national units and exchange information concerning any other relevant authorities and provide updated lists of the said units. The information shall be translated and circulated by the ECOWAS Secretariat to all the specialised units (Central authorities) established to handle requests and other related matters that may arise in the course of implementation.
With a view to strengthening national legal instruments on mutual legal assistance and extradition and making them more functional and efficient, all Member States shall harmonize their domestic law in accordance with the relevant ECOWAS Conventions on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition. Member States undertake to adopt a convention to incriminate and make punishable the most commonly committed crimes in the sub-region.
Member States shall keep statistics, in particular, on the number of mutual legal assistance and extradition requests received and sent, as well as results obtained. There shall also be periodic meetings of the specialised departments of the Ministries of Justice, Defence and Security and the Interpol National Central Bureaux for the purpose of exchanging information on past or on-going cases and on measures aimed at improving cooperation.
Member States shall develop simplified restitution procedures for vehicles and other stolen objects seized by the requested State.
The judicial and police authorities of ECOWAS Member States shall consider the red notices published by the ICPO-Interpol at the request of an ECOWAS Member State as valid requests for provisional arrest for the purpose of Article 22 of the ECOWAS Convention on Extradition.
Member States shall establish a special fund for detected proceeds of crime. This fund can be used for preventive and criminal justice response to, inter alia, trans-border crime and drug trafficking. Member States shall also give consideration to the establishment of confiscated asset management offices, where required.
Legislation on forfeiture of proceeds of crime in Member State shall be applicable to all crimes.
ECOWAS shall establish a Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Centre (ECPCJS) to serve as focal point for mutual legal assistance. The Centre shall be part of the Legal Department within ECOWAS. This ECPCJC shall assist in linking up ECOWAS Member States to non-ECOWAS Member States in Mutual Assistance Matters. It shall also serve as a supervisory power to ensure that countries implement conventions they sign.
Article 47: Coordination of Policies
The Executive Secretary shall be responsible for the coordination and implementation of all decisions relating to sub-regional security.
Article 48: Anti-Corruption Measures
To eradicate corruption within their territories and in the sub-region, ECOWAS and its Member States shall promote transparency, accountability and good governance.
Article 49: Measures Against Money Laundering
The ECOWAS Secretariat and Member States shall adopt strategies for combatting the problem of money laundering, by extending the scope of offences, enabling the confiscation of laundered proceeds and illicit funds and easing bank secrecy laws within and outside the sub-region.
Article 50: Control of the Proliferation of Small Arms
While taking into account the legitimate national defence and security needs, and those of international peace-keeping operations, ECOWAS shall establish effective measures to:
a) control the importation, exportation, manufacture and eradicate the flow of small arms.
b) register and control the movement and use of legitimate arms stock;
c) detect, collect and destroy all illicit weapons;
d) encourage Member States to collect and destroy all surplus weapons.
Article 51: Preventive Measures Against the Illegal Circulation of Small Arms
ECOWAS shall take all the necessary measures to combat illicit trafficking and circulation of small arms. These measures shall include:
a) developing a culture of peace;
b) training for military, security and police forces;
c) enhance weapons control at border posts;
d) establishment of a database and regional arms register;
e) collection and destruction of surplus and illegal weapons;
f) facilitating dialogue with producers and suppliers;
g) reviewing and harmonising national legislation and administrative procedures;
h) mobilising resources.
ECOWAS shall strengthen its institutional and operational capabilities and those of its Member States for the effective implementation of the measures mentioned in Paragraph 1 above.
The Executive Secretariat’s Department of Political Affairs, Defence and Security shall coordinate and monitor implementation of all programmes and activities and shall analyse information from the zonal headquarters.
In order to promote and ensure coordination of concrete measures at national level, Member States shall, in accordance with guidelines adopted by ECOWAS, establish national commissions made up of representatives of the relevant authorities and the civil society.
At the beginning of any ECOMOG peacekeeping operations, all dedicated light weapons and ammunition shall be declared to the Executive Secretariat so as to ensure their effective control as well as removal upon completion of the operations.
All weapons collected during any disarmament exercise shall be destroyed.
Chapter XI Cooperation with the Organisation of African Unity, United Nations and Other International Organisations
Article 52: Cooperation
In pursuit of its objectives, ECOWAS shall cooperate with the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the United Nations Organisation (UNO) and other relevant international organisations.
In the implementation of this Mechanism, ECOWAS shall fully cooperate with the OAU Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution.
In accordance with Chapters VII and VIII of the United Nations Charter, ECOWAS shall inform the United Nations of any military intervention undertaken in pursuit of the objectives of this Mechanism.
Chapter XII Special Provisions
Article 53: Abrogation
The provisions of this Protocol shall replace all the provisions of the ECOWAS Protocol relating to Mutual Assistance in Defence signed on 29 May 1981, which are in conflict with the spirit of this Protocol.
The provisions of the Protocol on Non-Aggression signed on 22 April, 1978, which are incompatible with those of the present Protocol are hereby declared null and void.
Undertakings devolving from the provisions of this Protocol shall not be interpreted as being against the spirit of Conventions or Agreements between one Member
State and a third State; provided such Conventions and Agreements are consistent with the spirit of this Protocol, otherwise, such provisions are null and void.
Chapter XIII General and Final Provisions
Article 55: Amendments
Any Member State may submit proposals for the amendment or revision of this Protocol.
Any such proposals shall be submitted to the Executive Secretary who shall notify other Member States not later than thirty days after the receipt of such proposals. Amendments or revisions shall not be considered by the Authority unless Member States shall have been given at least one month’s notice thereof.
Amendments or revisions shall be adopted by the Authority.
Article 56: Withdrawal
Any Member State wishing to withdraw from this Protocol shall give a one-year written notice to the Executive Secretary who shall inform Member States thereof. At the end of this period of one year, if such notice is not withdrawn, such a State shall cease to be a party to the Protocol.
During the period of one year referred to in the preceding paragraph, such a Member State shall nevertheless continue to observe the provisions of this Protocol and discharge its obligations thereunder.
Article 57: Entry into Force
This Protocol shall enter into force provisionally upon signature by Heads of State and Government. Accordingly, signatory Member States and the Executive Secretariat hereby undertake to start implementing all provisions of this Mechanism upon signature.
This Protocol shall definitely enter into force upon ratification by at least nine (9) signatory States in accordance with the constitutional procedures of each Member State.
Article 58: Depository Authority
This Protocol and all instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Executive Secretariat which shall transmit certified true copies to all Member States and notify them of the dates of deposit of instruments of ratification by the Member States and shall register it with the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), as well as the United Nations (UN) and any other Organisation as may be decided by the Council.
IN FAITH THEREOF,
WE, THE HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT OF THE MEMBER STATES OF THE ECONOMIC COMMUNITY OF WEST AFRICAN STATES (ECOWAS) HAVE SIGNED THIS PROTOCOL.
DONE AT LOME, THIS 10TH DAY OF DECEMBER, 1999