11.8.2020 : 11:35 : +0200

General Information | Point of Contact | PoA initiatives & activites | Instruments & documents | Members


Mano River Union (MRU)


Freetown, Sierra Leone

Web site

Short description

The MRU fosters economic cooperation among its members in addition to focusing on the peace, security, and stability of its member states.


Member states pay yearly contributions to the operational costs of the Secretariat. The Secretariat, which is undertaking a restructuring and revitalization process (March 2012), coordinates projects and programmes supported by development partners. The main financiers include the AfDB, World Bank, African Capacity- Building Foundation, and UN Food and Agricultural Foundation.

The MRU was initially established in 1973 with Sierra Leone and Liberia as the founding members. Guinea joined in 1980 and Côte d’Ivoire in 2008.


4 members (all UN member states)

  • Current members*: Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone (Bold: founding member, Grey: suspended member)
  • Former members: None
  • Membership pending: None

Overlapping memberships with other ROs

MRU members represent:

  • 4 of 54 AU members
  • 4 of 28 CEN-SAD members
  • 4 of 15 ECOWAS members
  • 4 of 16 WAPCCO members

*Information accurate as of 12 April 2012

PoA Point of Contact

  • Dr Saran Daraba Kaba
  • Secretary-General



PoA-related activities

At least one member of the MRU has been involved in some level of conflict for the last 20 years, with such instabilities hindering its progress. In 2000 members agreed on the 15th Protocol to the MRU Declaration entitled ‘Cooperation on Defence, Security, Internal Affairs, and Foreign Affairs’, which gives the MRU Secretariat an inter-governmental role in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. The protocol calls for the creation of a joint security committee and other mechanisms, such as one for early warning, and a technical committee to monitor and investigate border security and related issues. Several attempts to implement the protocol have been made, most recently with a series of meetings held in November 2011 that included the subject of small arms. In January 2012 member states adopted a framework for cross-border cooperation. In March 2012 the Secretariat began establishing Joint Border Security and Confidence Building Units in five identified borders. These units will hold monthly meetings and report to the MRU Secretariat. In March 2012 the Joint Border Security and Confidence Building Unit comprising border security personnel and community members (which includes civil society members) of Sierra Leone and Guinea was established. The chiefs of defence staff endorsed an operational plan on peace and security at their meeting in Abidjan in March 2012. Members approved the establishment of the Peace and Security Unit within the Secretariat. The AfDB is supporting the Secretariat in a capacitybuilding programme to develop terms of reference for the Peace and Security Unit and member states will second security officers on a rotational basis to run the unit.

PoA-related programmes and initiatives

PoA-relevant cooperation with other ROs

In June 2011 ECOWAS organized a meeting in Freetown on Cross Border Cooperation and Cross Border Initiatives, where delegations endorsed the MRU to serve as the sub-regional organization to coordinate ECOWAS cross-border programmes among its MRU member states.

Legally binding regional instruments

  • None

Other official documents of interest

  • 15th Protocol to the MRU Declaration: Cooperation on Defence, Security, Internal Affairs, and Foreign Affairs (2000)


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