Cote d'Ivoire solicits ECOWAS support to quell mutiny

  Lagos- Nigeria (PANA) -- Cote d'Ivoire, under siege by mutinous soldiers resisting plans to demobilise them, has asked for "support and assistance" from the sub-regional group ECOWAS, to quell the uprising, ECOWAS officials said Thursday.
   ECOWAS spokesperson Adrienne Diop told PANA in Lagos that the organisation has in turn requested member States to be on standby to provide such assistance, depending on the decision of the extra-ordinary Summit of ECOWAS, slated for 5 October in Dakar, Senegal.
   Diop said: "only the ECOWAS Summit can decide whether or not ECOWAS troops can be deployed" to Cote d'Ivoire.
   "Whatever the Summit decides, that's what will happen," she stressed.
   Nigeria has already dispatched three military Alpha jets to Abidjan to assist the Ivorian government in dislodging the rebel soldiers, who are fighting from the northern cities of Bouake and Korhogo.
   But ECOWAS has denied reports that the Nigerian planes were sent to Cote d'Ivoire under its auspices.
   Mediation, dialogue and troops deployment, are possible options under the ECOWAS Conflict Resolution Mechanism.
ECOMOG, the military arm of the 15-nation sub-regional group had intervened in conflicts in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau.

26 september 2002 16:55:00

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