News / Africa

Mali’s Security Top Concern as West African Leaders Meet Friday in Dakar

Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama (L) speaks with Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh (R) after a West African regional bloc ECOWAS summit on the crisis in Mali and Guinea Bissau, in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast, Feb. 27, 2013.Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama (L) speaks with Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh (R) after a West African regional bloc ECOWAS summit on the crisis in Mali and Guinea Bissau, in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast, Feb. 27, 2013.
x
Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama (L) speaks with Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh (R) after a West African regional bloc ECOWAS summit on the crisis in Mali and Guinea Bissau, in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast, Feb. 27, 2013.
Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama (L) speaks with Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh (R) after a West African regional bloc ECOWAS summit on the crisis in Mali and Guinea Bissau, in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast, Feb. 27, 2013.
James Butty
A senior official of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said, while Friday’s heads of state summit in Dakar will focus on the region’s economy, it will also take up political and security crises.  

This comes as ECOWAS President, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, Wednesday called on the international community to send more troops to Mali in the wake of a recent upsurge of attacks by Islamist insurgents.  

Abdel Fatau Musah, ECOWAS director for external relations, said the security situation remains a top concern to the regional body, especially as the country prepares for next month’s legislative elections.

“As you might have gleaned from developments in Mali, the terrorists and extremist groups are regrouping and carrying out sporadic attacks here and there.  Meanwhile, MINUSMA (the UN mission in Mali) because of the lack of numbers, lack of sufficient equipment, has not been able to fan out into the north.  So, the president was calling on member states of the international community to contribute troops because the bulk of the troops in Mali are all from West Africa,” he said.

Fatau Musah said, by the end of July, MINUSMA had a little over 6,000 troops, but that was reduced after Nigerian and some Chadian troops withdrew.

He said ECOWAS President Ouedraogo’s appeal Wednesday was for West African countries to boost their contingents already in Mali in terms of equipment.

Fatau Musah said ECOWAS leaders are very conscious of Mali being the epicenter of global terrorist activities, especially when the country still has what he called “unfinished business”.

“As far as ECOWAS is concerned, there [is] still unfinished business.  Mali is facing legislative election in November and that cannot take place if the north slides back into outright violence,” Musah said.

He said the Dakar meeting will focus mainly on economic issues, including the finalization of the Common External Tariff, the Community Integration Levy and the Economic Partnership Agreement between West Africa and the European Union.

But, Fatau Musah said the regional bloc cannot close its eyes to security and political issues that have emerged since the decision was made to hold the summit.

“It will definitely touch on the worsening situation in the north of Mali; it will talk about the post-electoral dispute in Guinea, and we are also going to talk about the disturbing developments in Guinea-Bissau on the approach of the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for later in November,” he said.
Butty interview with Abdel Fatau Musah
Butty interview with Abdel Fatau Musahi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid