ECOWAS deploys 20-member emergency response team to Mali

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - ECOWAS is to deploy 20 members of its Emergency Response Team (EERT) to Mali within the framework of a regional Humanitarian Assistance for the country which is exiting political and security crises.

In a press statement, received here Sunday by PANA, ECOWAS said four of its EERT members deployed would be seconded to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) to support its voluntary repatriation and reintegration programme in Mali.

It said that the field deployment for three months, which began Monday, was preceded by a four-day Pre-Deployment Training (PDT) in the Malian capital, Bamako.

The PDT is being supported by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), which is funding the training and also providing all-round flight tickets for the selected EERT members from their respective countries, ECOWAS said in the statement.

Following the military coup in Mali in 2012 and the separatist insurgency in the north of the country, ECOWAS led efforts in mobilizing an African-led support mission, AFISMA, which transformed into a UN mission MINUSMA last July as part of international initiatives to resolve the Malian crises.

The restoration of relative peace paved the way for the holding of successful Presidential elections in Mali in July/August 2013, monitored by ECOWAS and other International Observers.

Municipal polls are expected to follow later this month in the country, which still faces some humanitarian challenges.
-0- PANA PR/VAO 18Nov2013

18 november 2013 15:14:21

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