ECOWAS contact group to meet on Ivorian crisis

Lagos- Nigeria (PANA) -- After brokering a cease-fire agreement between the Ivorian government and rebel soldiers on Thursday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has scheduled a summit of its Contact Group on the crisis for 22 October, an ECOWAS source said Friday.
The source told PANA in Lagos that the meeting would be one in a series aimed at consolidating the ceasefire, which ended three weeks of fighting between loyalist forces and mutinous soldiers resisting plans to demobilise them.
Consultations are still afoot to determine the venue of the summit, which will be followed on 25 October by a meeting of the ECOWAS Defence and Security Commission, while the Mediation and Security Council will meet at the level of Ministers a day later.
An emergency summit of the 15-member regional group, held 29 September in Accra, set up a six-nation Contact Group to help mediate in the crisis, which has left hundreds dead since the rebel soldiers struck on 19 September.
The Contact Group, comprising Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Togo, was mandated to "establish contact with the insurgents, prevail upon them to immediately cease all hostilities, restore normalcy to occupied towns, and negotiate a general framework for the resolution of the crisis.
" ECOWAS sources said military chiefs were working on a standby peacekeeping force that could be deployed in Cote d'Ivoire as early as the first week of November.

18 october 2002 17:31:00




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