The Inquirer (Monrovia)

Liberia to Send Troops to Mali

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

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says Liberia is prepared to send a military troop comprising of a platoon which will be integrated in a battalion in to the ECOWAS Peacekeeping Mission in Mali. Making the disclosure upon her return home from a one-day extraordinary session in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire on Saturday, January 19, President Sirleaf said this will be Liberia's first time in the most recent years to participate in such mission.

She said the aim is to show Liberia's solidarity to the Malian people that Liberians appreciate their effort in helping to restore peace in Liberia during its time of crises and that it is their time to give back adding that details will be worked out by the Ministers of National Defense and Foreign Affairs.

The Liberian government's move is in line with the Heads of State and the Government's determination to assist Mali in the resolution of its security and institutional crisis within the framework of the norms and principles underpinning Community Protocols.

President Sirleaf said the West African countries have pledged their support to France for launching operations in Mali, within the framework of respect for the sovereignty of Mali and that is the International legality to halt the advance of the terrorist and extremist groups, thus paving the way for the implementation of Resolution 2085 (2012).

On the issue of Guinea Bissau, President Sirleaf said the process to peace is ongoing noting that the meeting was intense but very resulting andLiberia was appreciated for all of its continuous support to ECOWAS.

The ECOWAS leaders' meeting engaged agreements for additional measures in resolving the crisis in Mali following the renewed military offensive by Islamists occupying the north of the country. Representatives of 20 non-ECOWAS Member States and organizations attended the summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government.

The meeting also centered on the evolving political situation in Mali and how the region can work with the international community for the resolution of the crisis within the context of the UN Security Council Resolution 2085 of December 2012.

The leaders were briefed by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, KadréDésiréOuédraogo on the political and security situation while the regional mediators, Presidents BlaiseCompaore of Burkina Faso and Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, briefed the leaders on the Mali crisis.

Updates on the status of preparations for the deployment of AFISMA, the African-led Mission in Mali, by the Chairman of the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff, General SoumailaBakayoko, while Cote d'Ivoire's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Charles KoffiDiby, presented the outcome of the meeting of the Mediation and Security Council which took place before the summit.

The summit preceded the meeting of the Mediation and Security Council on January 18 which was attended by Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence on the situations in Mali and Guinea Bissau; Liberia's Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan and Defense Minister Brownie Samukai participated.

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InFocus

Chadian Soldiers Join Mali Fight

Chadian soldiers on the move. (file photo)

African soldiers helping to take back northern Mali from rebels have been joined by a column of Chadian soldiers, who moved north from Niger's capital, Niamey, on Tuesday. Read more »