ECOWAS authorize troops deployment to MaliSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 13/01/2013 8:37 pm in World / no comments
ABUJA, Jan. 12 — Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has authorized the deployment of an African-led international force to flush out rebel groups from northern Mali in order to restore security in the West African country, a statement by the regional bloc said on Saturday in Abuja.
The statement reaching Xinhua quoted Chairman, ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State, President Alassane Ouattara, as saying that measures would be taken to implement the decision to assist the Malian Army to defend the nation’s territorial integrity.
It said the chairman took the decision in consultation with his peers and in conformity to Resolution 2085 of the UN Security Council.
The statement said the deployment was within the AFISMA framework and added that ECOWAS was committed to support the Malian Government to tackle its security crisis.
“The authority recalls its previous decisions on Mali and reaffirms its commitment to support the Malian Government in overcoming the security crisis. It shall hold responsible any individual or group threatening national cohesion and the decisions of ECOWAS and the African Union,” the regional bloc statement said.
The ECOWAS body called on the transitional authority to expedite action on the establishment of an agency responsible for political dialogue with rebel groups that renounced terrorism and violence in Mali.
It expressed gratitude to the African Union, UN, partner countries and the international community for their efforts aimed at stabilizing the situation in Mali.
Mali has been dealing with diverse security, economic, political and humanitarian challenges since January after a fighting between government forces and al-Qaida-linked rebels broke out in the northern part of the country. The UN recently asked the AU and ECOWAS to produce a detailed plan for a possible military intervention in northern Mali.