ECOWAS Army Chiefs meet in Bamako

Bamako, Mali (PANA) - A meeting of the Army Chiefs of staff from the Economic community of West African States (ECOWAS) opened Tuesday in Bamako, the Malian capital, under the chairmanship of the Ivorian military Chief, General Soumaïla Bagayoko, whose country chairs the sub-regional organization, official sources told PANA.

The meeting, held behind closed doors, is being attended by a representative of France and aims at examining ways and means likely to make the military operation in Mali a success.

"We are determined to tackle the commitment to the International Support Mission in Mali (MIMSA) to liberate northern Mali," General Bagayoko said in his short declaration at the opening session of the meeting.

He said he was pleased with the fact that ECOWAS forces were working to help Mali recover its territorial integrity.

General Bagayoko seized the opportunity to introduce the ECOWAS force commander, Nigerian General Shehu Usmani Abdu and his assistant, Yaya Garba.

Thousands of soldiers from ECOWAS member countries are expected in Mali to back the Malian and French forces in the fight against the Jihadists who, for 10 months now had seized northern Mali.

The Jihadists last Wednesday attacked the town of Konna but were beaten back by the France-backed Malian army.

Eleven Malian soldiers and a French military personnel have been killed in the clashes while the rebels had lost an estimated 100 fighters.

15 january 2013 19:22:26

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