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N°: 360/2012
19 December 2012 [Monrovia - Benin]

ECOWAS CHIEF OUEDRAOGO DISCUSSES REGIONAL PEACE WITH LIBERIA’S PRESIDENT JOHNSON-SIRLEAF

							
	The President of the ECOWAS Commission Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo was received at 
the Executive Mansion, Monrovia on Tuesday 18th December 2012 by Liberia’s 
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, for talks on wide ranging issues including 
security at the Liberia-Cote d’Ivoire border, as well as political and 
economic developments in the region.
 
Addressing journalists after a working lunch, both leaders accompanied by 
their powerful teams, including government ministers and senior ECOWAS 
Commission officials, were unanimous that concerted measures were required to 
consolidate the peaceful atmosphere along the Liberia-Cote d’Ivoire borders 
after the unfortunate incident that resulted in the deaths of some Niger UN 
peace keepers on the frontier last June.
 
The ECOWAS chief, who is on a humanitarian mission to Liberia, his first 
official visit to the country since he assumed office in March, said the talks 
also covered areas of ECOWAS support, engagement and encouragement to Liberia 
in deepening democratic governance, security sector reforms as well as 
economic and infrastructure development.
 
Other priority areas are the energy sector with progress in the West African 
Power Pool (WAPP) project that will ensure interconnectivity among ECOWAS 
countries, and the Liberia leg of the Trans-West African Highway.
 
President Ouédraogo said there was the urgent need for effective 
implementation of the region’s flagship Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, 
Goods and the Rights of Residence and Establishment.  He noted that regional 
integration and economic development would be a pipe dream without free 
movement of persons, goods and services across the borders of Member States.
 
The ECOWAS chief commended President Jonson-Sirleaf for providing exemplary 
leadership in the region and for her contribution to conflict resolution, 
particularly on Mali and Guinea-Bissau.

He noted that Liberia was on the path to economic prosperity after a 
devastating civil war and pledged the Commission’s continued support to the 
country.

 President Ouédraogo, who had earlier in the day, presented 300 metric tons of 
rice to the Liberian government for distribution to Ivorian refugees in the 
country, thanked the Liberian government and people for their generosity 
towards the Ivorians.
 
He later visited the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and 
Coordinator of UN operations in Liberia, Mrs. Karin Landgren for talks on 
ECOWAS-UN partnership and cooperation.

The meeting also featured political, peace and security issues in the region 
and the need to strengthen and consolidate collaboration between ECOWAS and 
the UN system.
 
President Ouédraogo expressed the Commission’s gratitude to the UN through its 
Office in West Africa, adding that ECOWAS and the international community were 
intensifying efforts to end the crises in Mali and Guinea-Bissau and ensure 
that West Africa becomes a zone of peace.

 To round off the mission, Liberia’s Finance Minister Honourable Amara Konneh 
hosted the ECOWAS chief to a reception, which was attended by cabinet 
ministers and members of the diplomatic corps, among others.


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