ECOWAS postpones Dakar Summit

Lagos- Nigeria (PANA) -- The 26th ECOWAS ordinary Summit earlier scheduled for this month in Dakar, Senegal, has now been shifted to January 2003, officials of the 15-nation organisation said Sunday.
"It is just a calendar thing.
there is no problem," said Adrienne Diop, ECOWAS Director of Communications.
The actual dates are still being worked out.
Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade chairs the Nigeria-based sub-regional organisation, which is currently bogged down with the escalating military uprising in member-country Cote d'Ivoire.
The Ivorian crisis triggered by the 19 September army mutiny that has killed hundreds and displaced thousands, has deepened with the proliferation of rebel groups fighting President Laurent Gbagbo's government.
ECOWAS was on the verge of despatching a peace-keeping force, but renewed hostilities has cast shadows on the cease-fire accord it brokered 17 October on the crisis that is proving a major test for the negotiating skills of Ghana's Mohammed Ibn Chambas, who took over in February from Guinean Lansana Kouyate as ECOWAS Executive Secretary.
With Cote d'Ivoire boiling and the Mano River Union countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, still restive, security is expected to dominate the Dakar meeting, as it had previous ECOWAS Summits in the past decade.
Observers say political instability in the sub-region, is taking a serious toll on economic integration for which ECOWAS was set up in May 1975.

01 december 2002 15:38:00

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