Prez Mahama @ ECOWAS meeting

President John Mahama with other heads of state at the opening ceremony of the Summit Abidjan, Jan 19, GNA- President John Dramani Mahama on Saturday joined his colleague Heads of State in an extraordinary session of the Authority of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Some other Heads of State at the Summit included; President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, Blaise Campaore of Burkina Faso and Yayi Boni of Benin.

President Alassane Quattara of Ivory Coast in his opening remarks before the closed-door session commended the French Troops for promptly sending the military to quell the invasion of the north of Mali by Islamic militants.

Currently France has about 2,000 troops in Mali.

The summit which is chiefly on the political crises in Mali and Guinea Bissau would among other issues deliberate on the progress report on the preparation of the Deployment of the African-led international support mission in Mali, mediation and matters to be addressed by the security council.

Other issues are; briefings on the latest on Guinea Bissau and the adoption of a communiqu? that would serve as the working document for the execution of security matters in the two West African countries.

In March 2012, Mali experienced a coup d??tat that overthrew the country?s civil government, which threw the country into a state of confusion.

Rebels in the north capitalised on the situation by occupying the northern sector, which is the Sahelian part of Mali.

On January 10 this year the rebels captured the city of Konna resulting in the intervention of the French troops who are currently dealing with the insurgence through airstrikes.

Apart from the French troops, Nigeria and Chad had also deployed some troops to beef up security as the embattled country needs a total of 3,000 troops to contain the situation.

From: George-Ramsey Benamba, GNA Special Correspondent in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

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