Abuja - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is to deploy 20 members of its Emergency Response Team (EERT) to quell the political and security crises in Mali.
This is according to a statement the regional bloc released in Abuja on Monday.
The deployments, which will last three months, will be done within the framework of the regional Humanitarian Assistance.
Four of the ECOWAS EERT members will be seconded to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to support its voluntary repatriation and reintegration programme in Mali.
A four-day Pre-Deployment Training (PDT) in the Malian capital, Bamako, will precede the on field deployment.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) is funding the training and providing all-round flight tickets for the selected ECOWAS EERT members from their respective countries.
Following the military coup in Mali in 2012 and the separatist insurgency in the north of the country, ECOWAS led efforts in mobilizing an African-led support mission, which transformed into a UN mission last July, as part of international initiatives to resolve the Malian crises.
The restoration of relative peace paved way for the holding of successful Presidential elections in Mali in July/August 2013.
ECOWAS and other International Observers observed the poll.
Municipal polls are expected to follow later this month in the country, which still faces some humanitarian challenges.
– CAJ News