DEPLOYMENT OF MILITARY CONTINGENTS IN MALI TO BE COMPLETED SOON The President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo
has expressed confidence that the deployment of all military contingents pledged
by various African countries to assist Mali in countering terrorist groups in
that country will soon be completed.
“We have held talks with the Headquarters of AFISMA (the International Support
Mission in Mali) and everything is gradually falling into place. I can assure
you that, in the coming days, all the contingents will be on ground,” the
President affirmed at a press briefing during his one-day visit to Bamako from
Abidjan on 21st January 2013.
President Ouédraogo and his delegation, which included the Ivorian Minister of
Foreign Affairs Charles Koffi Diby and his Defence and African Integration
counterpart, who is also Chairman of the ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff, General
Soumaila Bakayako, were received at the Bamako airport by the Malian Minister of
Defence and the AFISMA Commander, Major General Abdulkadir Shehu of Nigeria.
The ECOWAS delegation later visited the French base where they were briefed by
Colonel Fagué, the Coordinator of Operation Serval.
The team also visited the Sénou-Bamako air-base hosting the Nigerian contingent,
where Brigadier-General Ash Saad reaffirmed the readiness of the troops to
support Mali in containing the threat of the terrorists.
Togo and Benin contingents also received the ECOWAS delegation at the
Gendarmerie Training School in Bamako, as did the Senegalese contingent at the
Peacekeeping School, under the leadership of Commander Colonel Guirane Ndiaye.
President Ouédraogo and the Ivorian Foreign Minister conveyed to the different
continents, the commendations and support of the ECOWAS Heads of State and
Government who recently held an extraordinary summit in Abidjan on Mali.
The President told the troops that the visit was also to interact with them in
order to understand the conditions under which they operate and how to provide
them with maximum support, and ensure the success of the mission.
“I must say that we are impressed by the level professionalism in the discharge
of your duties. We wish to encourage you and we have promised to brief ECOWAS
authorities for steps to be taken with the African Union and the international
community so that, together, we can achieve final victory,” he affirmed.
For his part, Minister Diby said: “We are in Bamako, first to convey the support
of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State to the Interim President, his
Government and the People of Mali, and to assure them that they have the support
of the Authority and their ECOWAS brothers.”
The delegation, which was later received by the interim President, His
Excellency Dioncounda Traoré, also visited Badalabougou for the inauguration of
the building of the ECOWAS Special Representation in Mali. The building was
provided by Mali under the Headquarters Agreement signed between the country and
The ECOWAS Special Representative, Mr. Cheaka Aboudou Touré, flanked by his
staff, thanked the Malian authorities for the gesture, and also commended the
presence of a number of envoys accredited to Bamako, at the ceremony, including
the Ambassadors of France, Morocco, Bénin, Saudi Arabia, Denmark and Niger.