Category Archives: ECOWAS

African leaders call for U.N. mandate for Mali mission

West African leaders on Thursday called for a regional military operation against al Qaeda-linked rebels in north Mali to be transformed into a U.N. peacekeeping mission as quickly as possible to secure desperately needed funding. France sent troops into its former colony last month to drive out Islamist fighters, claiming their seizure of Mali’s north last year posed a threat to international security. Paris hopes that from March it can start withdrawing its 4,000 troops but is awaiting the effective deployment of an African force (AFISMA), plagued by logistical and financing setbacks. Meeting in Ivory Coast’s capital Yamoussoukro, presidents from West Africa’s regional bloc ECOWAS backed calls from France, the … Continue reading

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Annan launches commission to battle drug trafficking

Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has launched a commission to tackle drug trafficking in West Africa as the region increasingly becomes a stopover point for cocaine and marijuana shipments from the Americas to Europe. “The massive surge in drug trafficking over the last decade presents a serious and growing threat to the region’s stability and development,” said Annan. “Left unchecked, illegal drug trafficking could compromise the encouraging progress that West African nations have made in strengthening democracy and promoting human and economic development. The 10-member commission, headed by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, will raise awareness, promote regional capacity to deal with the problem, and develop policy recommendations … Continue reading

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