ECOWAS Council of elders urged to help end conflicts

Niamey- Niger (PANA) -- Niger President Mamadou Tandja Tuesday urged the ECOWAS Council of elders to help restore peace in the sub-region.
Opening the Council's first meeting in Niamey, he said was convinced that the elders would organise themselves to efficiently and impartially respond to the various ECOWAS demands.
"You certainly constitute a good example of African integration.
We appeal to you to use your vast experience to play the role of mediators, conciliators and arbitrators," Tandja urged.
The ECOWAS Executive Secretary, Lansana Kouyate explained that Council members would help to reduce "tension, growing hatred and passions that could lead to conflicts.
" "If you succeed in stemming the spiral of violence which hampers our development efforts, then you will enhance the dignity of our continent.
You will thus, contribute in the historic effort for Africa's renaissance," he added.
Among the Council members at the opening ceremony were former Nigerian Heads of State, Generals Yakubu Gowon and Abdulsalami Abubakar.
Council members are to serve as "mediators and peace facilitators," dealing with security issues in the sub-region.
The two-day Niamey meeting will among others, discuss the implementation of the agreement on the mechanism for the prevention, management and settlement of conflicts in Africa.

03 july 2001 09:56:00

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