CEN-SAD executive board meets in Rabat

Rabat, Morocco (PANA) – The executive council of the Community of Sahelo-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) on Monday began an extraordinary meeting in Rabat during which it will discuss several issues, particularly security and stability in the region, sources said in the Moroccan capital.

It is the first meeting since the downfall of the regimes of Mouamar Kadhafi of Libya and Ben Ali of Tunisia.

The issues of security and stability are high on the agenda of CEN-SAD which has drafted two agreements, one on security cooperation and the second related to the mechanism of prevention, management and settlement of conflicts, the sources said.

"In the zone, characterised by political instability and economic weakness, CEN-SAD has, since the Ouagadougou summit in 2005, increased initiatives aimed at establishing organizations to assist key sectors, such as agriculture, finance and transport.

According to the Moroccan minister of Foreign Affairs, Saad Dine El Otmani, his country is “very much in a position to play a key role in the organization, by focusing on the strong ties developed with the member countries and on its constant and determined presence on the continent”.  

"Our community is expected today to pave the way for the emergence of a strong and modern organization able to find appropriate solutions for the region faced with serious security challenges endangering the whole Sahelo-Saharan region," he said.

The minister warned against the proliferation of transborder criminal and terrorist rings and the illegal trafficking of arms and drugs.

"The events that have happened lately in the region have increased the risks of instability in the Sahel region, particularly in Mali, where terrorist groups have succeeded in taking control of a wide area."

He described as "insufficient" the initiatives launched so far to fight terrorism and organized crime.

Mr El Otmani called on member countries to act concretely to ensure regional stability, which is “a key condition for sustainable development”.

CEN-SAD is a regional organization that brings together 28 African countries. It was set up on 4 February 1998 in Tripoli, Libya, at the end of a summit that brought together the presidents of Libya, Mali, Niger, Sudan and Chad. The regional bloc has also the goal to establish a free-trade zone.
-0- PANA HBK/TBM/IBA/MSA/MA 11June2012

11 juin 2012 22:41:19

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