The NEWS (Monrovia)

West Africa: Ngafuan, Samukai in Abidjan

The Extraordinary session of Foreign and Defense Ministers begins this week in the Ivorian capital Abidjan.

The two days meeting commences from Wednesday to Thursday and it would precede the meeting of ECOWAS heads of state and government.

The Liberian Leader Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is expected to attend the Summit. The ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council meeting is centered on regional peace and security with specific focus on reviewing the progress made on ECOWAS planned deployment of troops to the troubled West African State of Mali as well as furthering efforts on mediating the crisis in Guinea Bissau.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, the meeting is a follow-up to the extraordinary session of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council meeting held on January 18, 2013 in the Ivorian capital in which the Liberian government committed to contributing troops (one platoon) to the African Led International Peace-keeping Mission in Mali (AFISMA).

The modalities leading to the ongoing deployment of ECOWAS troops in Mali to ensure the restoration of constitutional order and help protect the nation's territorial integrity are also expected to top the agenda.

The conference will also consider the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2085 (2012) that authorizes the deployment of peacekeepers in Mali under AFISMA.

Reports and recommendations emanating from the Extraordinary Session of Foreign and Defense Ministers will be considered and endorsed by the ECOWAS' heads of state and governments in its 27th-28th February, 2013 Extraordinary Session.

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