Cote d'Ivoire/ECOWAS: '2013, year of ECOWAS victory'

Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) - ECOWAS Commission President Kadre Desire Ouedraogo has described 2013 as the ''year of ECOWAS victory over the forces of terrorism, crime and obscurantism as well as over the demons of division and destabilisation''.

The Commission President made the declaration Friday in an allusion to the successes recorded in Mali, where democracy was restored and the north, which had been excised by separatists allied with Islamists, reunited with the rest of the country.

''Our populations as well as the friends of the sub-region and Africa will, in spite of gruesome scenes that occurred in Northern Mali, remember the massive international support you were able to rally to reject the unacceptable situation,'' he said at the opening of the two-day ECOWAS Summit in the Ivorian capital, Yamoussoukro.

''From what happened in Mali in 2013, posterity will also reckon that despite the breakdown of law and order caused by political adventurism of some, the beautiful lessons of sound democratic practice were the holding of presidential and legislative elections in Mali,'' he added.

PANA recalls that Mali's two decades of uninterrupted democracy was truncated 22 March 2012 by a military coup, which also worsened the fight against separatist Tuareg rebels and their Islamist allies.

The culmination of events led to the seizure of the north by the rebels and their allies, a situation that was only reversed with the intervention of African and international forces, especially from France.

President Ouedraogo hailed West African leaders for the successes in Mali, saying the restoration of stability and democracy was made possible by ''your clear political vision and direct involvement in the implementation of bold decisions''.

He also hailed the ''unprecedented political, diplomatic and military efforts'' toward the resolution of the crisis in Guinea Bissau, which is due to hold elections next month to restore democracy following the 2012 military coup.

The ECOWAS Commission boss however warned that the sub-region must not rest on its oars but remain alert to new challenges.
-0- PANA SEG 28March2014

28 march 2014 16:10:12

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