Cote d'Ivoire/ECOWAS: AU nudges Mali on all inclusive talks

Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) - African Union's High Representative for Mali and the Sahel, Mr. Pierre Buyoya, has called on the Malian authorities to launch all-inclusive talks to help achieve permanent peace and stability in the West African nation.

Speaking on behalf of African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, at Friday's opening of the 44th Ordinary Summit of ECOWAS in Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire, Mr. Buyoya hailed the government and people of Mali for the ''remarkable progress'' made in just one year.

He listed the progress as including efforts to promote national reconciliation, the preparatory actions toward the launch of all-inclusive talks and confidence-building measures such as the release of some prisoners and the lifting of arrest warrants on some leaders of the armed movements.

However, Mr. Buyoya, who is also the head of the African Union Mission to Mali and Sahel (MISAHEL), a cooperation initiative with countries in the Sahel to combat terrorism as part of efforts to stabilise the region, urged the Malian authorities "to move forward, especially with the launch of inclusive talks, while assuming the leadership role in this process".

PANA reports that following successful elections that have restored democracy in Mali, the next stage is the launch of talks with the rebels groups in the north to achieve permanent peace and stability.

Last week, UN Special Envoy Bert Koenders announced that the Malian government and the rebels have made progress in informal discussions ahead of all-inclusive talks.

A series of recommendations were outlined by stakeholders under the mediation of the UN diplomat during the third round of talks which kicked off on 14 March.

The recommendations include security issues, the confinement of troops, measures to build mutual confidence, the return of administrative and basic social services in the north and a road map for all-inclusive talks across the country.

The Mali issue is on the agenda of the ongoing two-day summit of ECOWAS, due to round off Saturday.
-0- PANA SEG 28March2014

28 march 2014 18:29:58




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