Regional peace, security in focus as ECOWAS Summit opens - The 42nd Ordinary Summit of ECOWAS was due to open in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, Wednesday to discuss regional peace and security issues, including the situations in Mali and Guinea-Bissau, among others.
During the two-day meeting, the leaders will consider a Memorandum to be presented by ECOWAS Commission President Kadré Ouédraogo on developments in Mali, in the wake of on-going military offensive against armed terrorist groups in the north of the country.
President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, the regional Mediator on the Mali crisis, will also make a presentation to the summit, which was preceded by an emergency session of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council, which comprises foreign and defence ministers.
In addition, the summit will consider a presentation by the Chairman of the Regional Contact Group, and report of the Mediation and Security Council meeting.
The regional leaders will also consider the report of the 69th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers held in December 2012 in Abidjan, which took important decisions, notably on the mechanism for enlarging the Commission from nine to twelve Commissioners.
Some 25 non-ECOWAS member states from Africa, Europe and America as well as international institutions are expected to attend the summit.