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11.11.2003 General News

ECOWAS calls for UN Peacekeeping Force in Cote D'Ivoire

By GNA
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Accra, Nov. 11, GNA - Seven West African heads of State on Tuesday appealed to the United Nations Security Council to consider the possibility of increasing the strength of the ECOWAS Mission in Cote D'Ivoire and transform it into a United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping Force. Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Executive Secretary of ECOWAS, who announced this, said the ECOWAS Secretariat and Ministers of Foreign Affairs within the Sub-Region have been tasked to negotiate with the UN for the deployment of forces to help augment the troops in the implementation of the Marcoussis and Accra Accords and unite the country.

Dr Chambas was reading a statement issued at the end of a day's mini ECOWAS Summit in Accra for consultations on the political and security situation in the Sub-Region and in particular the situation in Cote d'Ivoire.

The leaders were, President John Agyekum Kufuor of Ghana, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Togolese President Gnassingbe Eyadema, Niger President Mamadou Tandja and Beninois President Mathieu Kerekou. The rest were President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo. Ivorian Premier Seydou Diarra also attended. Dr Chambas said the leaders also agreed on the need to guarantee the security of members of the Government of National Reconciliation (GNR), therefore, 80 additional gendarmes from Niger and Togo were to be deployed within seven days to augment the personal security of the Ministers of the GNR.

In an answer to a question, Dr Chambas denied that some of the Leaders left the meeting in anger, saying the meeting was held in a frank and open atmosphere.

He said President Obasanjo, who left before the meeting ended, had informed the meeting that he had scheduled another meeting in Abuja. 11 Nov.03

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