Konare emphasises need to support Guinea-Bissau

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Outgoing ECOWAS chairman, President Alpha Oumar Konare of Mali Thursday urged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to help Guinea-Bissau to consolidate its critical democratic transition.
In an opening speech at the 25th ordinary summit of the ECOWAS heads of State in Dakar, Konare also called on the international community to buttress Guinea-Bissau's reconstruction, and release the resources necessary for the strengthening of the fragile peace in Sierra Leone.
Konare described recent developments seen in the West African sub-region as encouraging signs, and commended the reconciliation process in Cote d'Ivoire.
"We encourage the Ivorian authorities on their national reconciliation process which will hopefully help strengthen democracy and the rule of the law" in that country, he said.
On the situation in the Mano river region, Konare said ECOWAS expects that initiatives underway would restore genuine peace in the area so that member countries -- Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea -- will concentrate on development, and fully contribute to the prosperity of the region.
He said the development of the "Border Countries" concept, which consists in a shared management and a common exploitation of the human and material resources along the borders, is a way to extend decentralisation and reinforce regional integration.
In addition, he said, stability and development organs such as the Mano River Union, the Organisation for the Development of Senegal River or the Liptaku Gourma, might definitely remove the seeds of conflicts and strengthen peace, security and development.

20 december 2001 21:44:00




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