27 March 2014

West Africa: President Sirleaf Off to 44th Ecowas Summit in Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire - Regional Security, Financial Issues High On the Agenda

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has departed the country for a three-day official visit to Côte d'Ivoire.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader is in the Ivorian administrative capital of Yamoussoukro to attend the 44th Ordinary Session of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government.

High on the Agenda of the Summit is the political and security situations in Mali and the development in Guinea Bissau.

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Kadré Ouédraogo will present a report on the post-conflict situation in Guinea Bissau which has fixed presidential elections next month on line with the ECOWAS-facilitated road map following the defense and security sector reforms in that country.

The Summit will also listen to the status report on the situation in Mali by the mediator, President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, and his co-mediator, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria.

The United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative for West Africa and Chairperson of the African Union Commission is expected to address the Summit; while the Heads of State and Government will elect a new Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority, to succeed outgoing Chair, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara who has held the position for the past two years.

The Summit will also consider the 2013 Annual Report of the President of the Commission, the reports of the 71st Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers and the Council's 12th and 13th Extraordinary Sessions, and the report of the 31st Session of the Mediation and Security Council.

While President Sirleaf is away from the country, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Morris Dukuly will coordinate the affairs of State in consultation with Vice President Dr. Joseph N. Boakai, Sr. She is expected back Saturday, March 29.

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