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ECOWAS to hold extraordinary summit on Mali

Leaders in the West African sub-region will on Saturday, 19 January hold an extraordinary summit in the Ivorian city of Abidjan to take additional measures aimed at solving the Malian crisis following the seizure of the north by Islamists.

The conference of heads of State and government, also to be attended by representatives from 18 institutions and ECOWAS non-member countries, will assess the latest developments in Mali and see how the region can cooperate with the international community to implement UN Security Council resolution 2085.

During the session, the regional leaders will hear a speech by ECOWAS Commission chairman, Mr Kadré Désiré Ouédrago, on the political and security situation in Mali, as well as the reports by Burkina Faso president Blaise Compaoré and president Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria on the mediation efforts they are undertaking in the resolution of conflicts.

They will also be briefed about deployment of the International mission to support Mali (MISMA) by the chairman of the Committee of ECOWAS army chiefs of staff, Ivorian general, Soumaila Bakayoko. The Ivorian minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Charles Koffi Diby, is also expected to present a report on the meeting of the mediation and security council (CMS).

The summit of heads of state and government will be preceded on 18 January by an extraordinary meeting of MSC, which brings together ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence from ECOWAS member countries, to discuss the situation in Mali and Guinea Bissau and make recommendations.

The Abidjan summit would also approve the nomination of Major-General Shehu Usman Abdulkadir from Nigeria as MISMA commander and Brigadier-General Yaye Garba from Niger as his deputy.

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