Four African leaders attend ECOWAS summit in Dakar

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Only four West African leaders attended Wednesday's official opening in Dakar of an extraordinary summit of the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) devoted to the Ivorian crisis.
These were presidents Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, the current ECOWAS chairman, Burkina Faso's Blaise Compaore, Laurent Gbagbo of Cote d'Ivoire and Pedro Pires of Cape Verde.
Foreign ministers represented presidents John Kufuor of Ghana and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, respectively.
Togo's Prime Minister Koffi Sama represented President Gnassingbe Eyadema while Bruno Amoussou, Benin's senior minister in charge of co-ordination of government action, planning and development, represented President Mathieu Kerekou.
ECOWAS executive secretary Mohamed Ibn Chambas and the special representative of the UN secretary general in West Africa, Ahmed Ould Abdallah are also attending the summit.
Today's summit was decided during a mini-summit held Monday in Kara, northern Togo, which brought together the leaders of Togo, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal.
Conspicuously absent from the summit in Dakar is President Gnassingbe Eyadema, co-ordinator of the ECOWAS contact group mediating in the Ivorian crisis arising from the 19 September insurrection.
According to an initial programme, Eyadema's ECOWAS contact group was supposed hold a meeting in Dakar before the opening of the heads of state summit.
Eyadema was expected brief his counterparts on the ongoing peace negotiations in Lome between an Ivorian government delegation and representatives of the rebel Cote d'Ivoire Patriotic Movement (MPCI), the political wing of rebellious soldiers who control the country's north.

18 december 2002 19:49:00

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