ECOWAS postpones deployment of peace force in Cote d'Ivoire

Abidjan- Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) -- The arrival of the first contingent of West African peace-keeping troops in Cote d'Ivoire, initially scheduled for Tuesday, has been postponed to 3 January, sources at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said in Abidjan Tuesday.
"The 50 men who were supposed to arrive in Abidjan on 31 December will finally be here on 3 January," said ECOWAS assistant executive secretary Cheick Oumar Diarra, who explained that the delay was due to "communication difficulties.
" Diarra said the bulk of the peacekeeping force, estimated at 1,264 men from Senegal, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Niger would be effectively deployed by 10 January.
At an extraordinary ECOWAS summit held 18 December in Dakar, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, who is also chairman of the sub-regional bloc, stressed that the deployment of ECOWAS peacekeepers was still conditional and dependent on the signing of an agreement between the Ivorian government and rebels.
The decision to deploy troops in Cote d'Ivoire was taken at the first ECOWAS summit on the crisis that was held in Accra, Ghana.

31 december 2002 12:23:00




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