News / Africa

West African Leaders Meet Over Mali, Guinea Bissau

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, February 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, February 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, February 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, February 27, 2013.
Peter Clottey
West African regional leaders have begun a two-day summit in the Ivory Coast capital, Yamoussoukro, to discuss the current situations in Mali and Guinea Bissau.

Sonny Ugoh, communications director of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), says the leaders also will review plans to deal with terrorism in West Africa.

“Increasingly we are beginning to see manifestations of actions that qualify as terrorism in West Africa. The decision would be a demonstration of the region’s response and willingness to articulate a coherent approach for addressing the challenges of terrorism in West Africa,” said Ugoh.

Regional defense and foreign ministers met Tuesday to come up with recommendations on the security and political situations in Mali and Guinea Bissau. The heads of state are expected to review the recommendations and develop a plan that would then be implemented in the two countries.

France has indicated it will withdraw its forces from Mali in March following a military intervention to recapture parts of northern Mali that had been controlled by the rebels.

“In response to that, regional leaders will take a decision that will facilitate the deployment of additional troops,” said Ugoh. “Almost 70 percent of pledged troops have been deployed. So we want to see how we can deploy the additional 30 percent and to see if we can have some additional pledges in order to increase the profile of the African led force in Mali.” 

Some analysts say the imminent withdrawal of French troops could worsen the security situation in parts of Mali’s north where the rebels had been in control.

Ugoh says ECOWAS wants to ensure Mali maintains its territorial integrity despite the security challenges. He says the concept of operations for the African-led International Mission in Mali (AFISMA) has been revised in light of recent developments.

“The first structure for the troops has been revised to 8,000 and the complementary staff requirement from the Malian armed forces has also been moved up from 5,000 to 10,000, all in an effort to be able to respond to the evolving situation there,” said Ugoh.                                      

Ugoh he says ECOWAS is cooperating with its international partners to bolster regional security as a part of a plan to fight terrorism in the region.

“We are working with our partners with greater cohesion in terms of collaboration. The whole idea is to give us to the tools to be able to work together to be able to implement international instruments in this area of terrorism,” said Ugoh.

Clottey interview with Sonny Ugoh, ECOWAS communications director
Clottey interview with Sonny Ugoh, ECOWAS communications directori
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid