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UN Peace Mission Chiefs Meet to Coordinate West Africa Operations


The heads of the U.N. peace missions in West Africa are meeting Friday to coordinate their operations throughout the region.

The object of the meeting is to coordinate the U.N. missions in Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau. The U.N. special representative for West Africa joined the meeting at Goree Island in Senegal.

The head of the U.N. mission in the Ivory Coast, Albert Tevoedjre, says the joint meeting is important because the majority of problems occur along the border regions.

"We need to know the problems we face mainly at the border," he said. "Mainly when the transfer of arms, synchronization of people, refugees, all those things those problems that are not military but are becoming problems [the] military have to deal with. That is the reason why this meeting is very important to the region and to the U.N. itself to organize its implication in all the countries concerned."

Friday's conference comes a week after a meeting of three U.N. force commanders in Abidjan that helped organize a daily exchange of information and a joint surveillance along the borders of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast .

The United Nations has been working on a regional approach to combat the conflicts in West Africa since last November.

The United Nations is anticipating a deployment of more than 6,000 troops to the Ivory Coast if a proposal is approved by the Security Council next week.