Lagos- Nigeria (PANA) -- ECOWAS is sending a 13-member delegation to monitor Sierra Leone's 14 May presidential and parliamentary elections, "one of the final acts in ending the country's 10-years of civil war.
" A statement from the Nigeria-based regional grouping, said the team is headed by a member of the ECOWAS Council of Elders, Theresa Striggner-Scott from Ghana, and will also include Vice-President of the Council, Alimata Salambere from Burkina Faso.
Other monitors include legislators, lawyers, political scientists and diplomats, the statement said, adding that an advance team of four monitors, is expected to arrive in Sierra Leone by 3 May, while other members would join three days later.
The ECOWAS monitors are scheduled to depart Sierra Leone 20 May, after the election, in which the former rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF) is participating, having transformed into a political party, the RUF-P.
The statement said the monitors are drawn from 13 of the 15 ECOWAS member-States, and includes the Special Representative of the ECOWAS Executive Secretary to Sierra Leone, Colonel Mahamane Toure, and Mohammed Diagne, who heads the sub-region's Zonal Observatory in Monrovia.
ECOWAS observers monitored elections in Liberia in 1997, Niger in 1999, The Gambia in 2001, and Zimbabwe in 2002.