Ecowas urges members to send troops to Mali

2013-10-23 22:04
Kadre Desire Ouedraogo (File: AFP)

Kadre Desire Ouedraogo (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dakar - The president of west African bloc Ecowas urged member states and other countries on Wednesday to send troops to bolster the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali following a surge in Islamist attacks.

Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, speaking two days ahead of a summit in Dakar on the region's economy and recent political crises, called for a positive response to a UN appeal in New York last week for troop reinforcements and much-needed equipment.

He recognised that troops from Ecowas nations and Chad had already been in Mali for nine months, as part of the AFISMA African force fighting an Islamist insurgency and then as members of the peacekeeping mission which absorbed it.

But he told a news conference: "We know we have to get from 6 000 [peacekeepers] currently to 12 600 by the end of the year."

French troops entered Mali in January to halt an advance on the capital Bamako by al-Qaeda-linked groups and allied Tuareg rebels. It plans to reduce its presence from 3 000 troops today to 1 000 by the end of January 2014.

Meanwhile militants have remained active in the vast desert north, carrying out deadly attacks in Timbuktu and Gao in recent weeks and sparking alarm ahead of legislative elections planned for 24 November.

The UN special representative to Mali Bert Koenders said last week recent attacks in the north of the country had been "an important wake-up call" over security.

Caretaker regime

Koenders told the UN Security Council that the international force needed helicopters and troops as it builds up to replace the French force.

"Troop generation will have to accelerate," Koenders said in a report on the work of the UN's Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States has said the economy will top the agenda for Friday's summit but leaders will also call for calm in Guinea, where the opposition has said it will take claims of election fraud to the country's Supreme Court.

Guinea-Bissau, where Ecowas also has troops, is another source of concern for the west African leaders.

After a military coup in 2012, a caretaker regime is due to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 November.

"The transition in Guinea-Bissau must be completed by December 31 of this year at the latest," Ouedraogo said, adding that Ecowas was planning to contribute $18m to the country's election fund.

Read more on:    un  |  ecowas  |  kadre desire ouedraogo  |  mali  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.