How to end Mali crisis - Gen. Babayoko

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - The Chairman of ECOWAS Committee of Chief of Defence Staff (CCDS), Gen. Soumaila Babayoko, has called for intensified and sustained international support to rid Mali of terrorism and criminality which are threatening not only the country but the region and the rest of the world.

Speaking at the opening of an extraordinary meeting of the CCDS in Yamoussoukro, the Ivorian administrative capital, on Monday, he said while some progress had been recorded through the intervention of France and Chad, complemented by the regional forces, there is still a long way to go to prevent the destabilisation of the region.

Gen. Bakoyoko, Cote d’Ivoire’s chief of defence staff, said the momentum generated by the international mobilisation that resulted in last December’s UN Security Council Resolution 2085, behind regional efforts for military intervention in Mali, should be sustained to make the African-led International Mission in Mali (AFISMA) a UN operation and ensure an accelerated deployment to checkmate the terrorist insurgents in northern Mali.

In her remarks, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, said the Yamoussoukro meeting would consider the outcome of the 11-12 March 2013 meeting in Bamako  between a UN team and AFISMA Headquarters on the standard of operations and logistics support under a UN deployment for the envisaged transformation of AFISMA.

On behalf of the ECOWAS Commission, the Commissioner, represented by the Chief of Staff of ECOWAS Standby Force, Gen. Hassan Lai, commended France, the US, EU, the African Union and the UN for their understanding and continued support towards the resolution of the security situation in Mali.

While declaring the meeting open, Cote d’Ivoire’s Defence Minister Paul Kofi Kofi said the CCDS extraordinary meeting, called to discuss the transformation of AFISMA into a UN Peace Operation, marked a turning point in efforts at resolving the Mali crisis.

The two-meeting will make recommendations to ECOWAS authorities towards the transformation of AFISMA into a UN field operation.
-0- PANA SEG 26Mar2013

26 march 2013 08:12:43

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