19 January 2013

Mali: Ecowas Solicits UN Logistics, Financial Support

Photo: Claire Soares/IRIN
Chadian soldiers on the move. (file photo)

ECOWAS leaders on Saturday in Abidjan called on the UN Security Council to fast track the release of logistics and financial packages to support Africa-led Mission in Mali (AFISMA).

The ECOWAS Chairman and President of Cote d'Ivoire, President Allasane Quattara, made the call in a welcome address at the one day extraordinary summit of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government at the Ivorian capital.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Goodluck Jonathan is among the 14 African leaders participating in the summit ahead of the full deployment of the community's troops to Mali.

Quattara said the session was holding at a critical time when efforts were ongoing to dislodge the Islamic fundamentalists and drug traffickers occupying the North of Mali and pushing towards Bamako.

The ECOWAS chairman called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, to impress on the UN Security Council, the need for the urgent release of logistics and financial support to AFISMA.

He also called on the AU and ECOWAS to urgently organise a donors' round-table for the same cause.

Quattara thanked the French Government for deploying troops promptly to Mali, to forestall further movement of the rebels from the North to the South of the country.

He also expressed gratitude to Nigeria, Benin Republic, Burundi, Burkina Fasso, Rwanda, Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana for contributing troops to AFISMA.

He also thanked Algeria, Mauritania and Libya for closing their borders against the rebels and for allowing the use of their airspace for military operations.

Speaking in same vein, the ECOWAS Commission President Desire Quadreogo said Mali and ECOWAS were not alone in the struggle to liberate the country from rebel invasion.

He said that the EU, U.S. and Canada, as well as other allied nations, had given assurances of their support.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting went into a closed-door session shortly after the opening ceremony.

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