The ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CCDS) ended its emergency
meeting in Bamako on 14th August 2012, with new proposals for the resolution
of the crisis in Mali, including the dispatch of a high-level delegation to
neighbouring Algeria and Mauritania with a view to facilitating the deployment
of the ECOWAS Mission in Mali (MICEMA).
The meeting also urged ECOWAS and the Government of Mali to launch a massive
media campaign to help raise the awareness of the Malian population on the
The meeting resulted in a convergence of views by ECOWAS and the Malian
authorities on the first Phase of the MICEMA mission, namely to provide
security for the authorities and transition institutions.
Mali’s Chief of General Staff, Colonel Ibrahima Dahirou Dembele, welcomed the
meeting’s decisions, including the harmonization of ECOWAS and Malian
positions on Phases 2 and 3 of the MICEMA mission. This will involve the
contribution of MICEMA to capacity building of Malian defence and security
forces by reorganizing and training them, as well as supporting the forces to
retake Northern Mali currently occupied by Islamist rebel group.
Colonel Dembele affirmed that “Malian troops will be the vanguard of Phase 3,
since no one else will execute the war on their behalf,” adding that other
MICENA forces will bring the necessary support.
The Special Representative of the President of ECOWAS Commission in Mali, Mr.
Aboudou Toure Cheaka, welcomed the outcome of the final planning for MICEMA
deployment and the substantial progress recorded.
In her remarks, the ECOWAS for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs.
Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, congratulated the CCDS on the progress made in the
planning, and also thanked the Malian authorities for their collaboration.
She commended the political will of the Malian government and military
authorities and urged them to cooperate fully with the ECOWAS Standby Force
for a speedy restoration of the country’s territorial integrity.
A CCDS’ delegation later paid a courtesy visit on Mali’s Interim President,
Dioncounda Traore, to present him with the outcome of the emergency meeting.
Mr. Traore expressed his gratitude to ECOWAS Member States for all their
support to Mali.
“The situation in Northern Mali poses a threat not only to our country, but
also to the sub-region, Africa, as well as to world peace and security, due to
the presence of terrorists in the region,” he added.
The interim President also assured the CCDS’ delegation of Mali’s
determination to regain its unity, adding that the newly appointed Prime
Minister will after the formation of a new government, make a formal request
for assistance to ECOWAS in resolving its present security challenge.