ECOWAS shifts Ivorian crisis meeting from Abidjan to Accra

Lagos- Nigeria (PANA) -- An emergency summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) called to discuss the military uprising in Côte d'Ivoire has been shifted from Abidjan to Accra, the ECOWAS Secretariat said in Abuja Friday.
Secretariat officials told PANA the venue of the meeting which was itself moved from 5 October to 29 September was shifted because of "security concerns" for ECOWAS leaders.
"Heads of state and other participants are being informed of the change of venue," they said.
A statement earlier Thursday from ECOWAS said the meeting would review the security situation in Côte d'Ivoire, which since last week has been under siege from 750 mutinous soldiers resisting plans to demobilise them.
"Côte d'Ivoire is going through a serious political crisis following an attempted coup that has already witnessed the loss of human lives," the statement said.
An extraordinary meeting of the ECOWAS Defence and Security Commission, comprising army chiefs of staff of ECOWAS member states, will also take place in Accra after the summit to discuss the implementation of summit decisions.
Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo has formally asked the 15-member sub-regional bloc for "support and assistance.
" Nigeria, saying it was acting on the request of ECOWAS, has already deployed three Alpha jets and about 30 support personnel to Côte d'Ivoire.

27 september 2002 12:39:00

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