Abidjan - Cote d' Ivoire — The Vice-President of the ECOWAS Commission Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh on Thursday, 14th June 2012 in Abidjan, joined the Chairman of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d'Ivoire, and other distinguished guests at a brief ceremony in honour of seven Niger peacekeepers killed in a recent attack along the Ivorian border with Liberia.
Also in attendance at the ceremony held at the headquarters of the UN Mission in Cote d'Ivoire, were the Head of UN peacekeeping operations in Cote d'Ivoire, Mr. Herne Ladsous, Head of UN operations for the ONUCI Mission, Mr. Bert Koenders as well as Niger's Minister of Higher Education, Mr. Youba Diallo.In addition to the seven Niger peacekeepers serving with the UN Mission in Cote d'Ivoire, some 10 civilians and at least one Ivorian soldier were also killed in the 12th June 2012 attack at Tai, an Ivorian town near the country's border with Liberia. The attack was described as the worst against UN peacekeepers since the force was deployed in the country in 2004. "It is a tragic reminder of the price the region has had to pay for regional peace and security," Vice-President McIntosh said, citing the resurgence of crises in some Member States as worrying developments for the region.
"We have had to pay so much in human and material terms to maintain peace and security but hopeful that this is a passing phase in the life of the community from which we will emerge stronger so that we can concentrate on our core mandate of promoting the development of the region for the benefit of our people," he concluded. The ceremony included the reading of the citations of the fallen soldiers.