The New Dawn (Monrovia)

28 February 2013

West Africa: Regional Security Tops ECOWAS Summit

The Executive Mansion in Monrovia has disclosed the presence of President Sirleaf at the ongoing 42nd Ordinary Summit of ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments in the Ivoirian Capital, Abidjan.

Attending the session along with the Liberian leader are Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan, Defense Minister Brownie Samukai, Finance Minister Amara Konneh and the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Dr. Edward B. McClain, Jr.

An Executive Mansion said, regional peace and security issues, including the situations in Mali and Guinea Bissau, are dominating the two-day Ordinary Session.

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo, at the start of the summit, presented a Memorandum for consideration on developments in Mali, in the wake of the ongoing military offensive.

of Burkinabe Faso President Blaise Compaoré, the regional Mediator on the Mali crisis, also made a presentation to the Summit.

The leaders are also discussing the report of the Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council which preceded the Summit on Monday, February 25th.

At the Summit, continuing today, regional leaders are also considering the Report of the 69th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers held last December in Abidjan, which took important decisions, notably on the system for increasing the Commission from nine to twelve Commissioners to ensure that ECOWAS reflects the concerns of the Community. The Authority of Heads of State and Governments is expected to decide the nature and content of the departments to be created.

The current Chairman of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, earlier Monday, welcomed his colleagues and guests followed by statements from the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa, and the President of the AU Commission during Monday's opening ceremony. Observers and partners from Africa, Europe and America, including international institutions are also in attendance.

President Sirleaf and delegation are expected back in the country today.

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