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ECOWAS, Chad troops hailed for Mali peace

02 August 2013, 07:22Augustine Osayande

Abuja - Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission President,  Kadré Desire Ouédraogo, paid tribute to regional troops and Chad forces for maintaining peace in Mali.

“We will never forget the enormous sacrifice they made supported by a brotherly country (Chad) for African solidarity,” he said this during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ECOWAS and the countries contributing troops to the African-led International Support Mission (AFISMA) at the Commission’s Abuja headquarters.

Some 6 000 troops from ECOWAS member states and Chad served under AFISMA between January and June 2013, before it was transformed into a UN mission (MINUSMA) last month.

Ouédraogo acknowledged the critical role played by these countries for contributing troops to AFISMA, whose intervention paved the way for the just-held successful presidential election in Mali.

AFISMA consisted of troops from eight ECOWAS member states - Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo - and Chad, as part of regional response to end Mali’s political and security crises.

“We are very proud of our men and women on the ground because after six months of a successful mission no violation of human rights or humanitarian law was reported,” he added.

In her remarks, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada recalled that regional leaders only resorted to troop deployment after exhausting the options for political solution to the Mali crises.

“We are happy to say that all the countries rose up to the challenge and we also thank Chad, which is not an ECOWAS member state, for its contribution,” she said.

- CAJ News


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