ECOWAS to seek UN assistance for Liberia, La Cote D’Ivoire security concerns
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), at a mini-summit held Saturday has decided to call on the United Nations to extend its security operations to the border between Liberia and La Cote d’Ivoire.
This decision was the outcome of discussions between five member states of ECOWAS; Ghana, Senegal, Liberia, Nigeria and La Cote D’Ivoire on the security situation in Liberia and La Cote D’Ivoire with emphasis on the proliferation of arms in the sub-region.
Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who briefed journalists at the Kotoka International Airport on arrival from Abuja, where he had accompanied President John Atta Mills to attend the summit, said the meeting had been necessitated by the implications of arms proliferation before, during and after Liberia’s impending general elections on October 11, 2011.
He revealed that the meeting had also decided to send the Chiefs of Defense Staff and Inspector Generals of Police of the five countries to Liberia on the 13 September, to assess the security situated and determine the necessary steps to be taken.
It also appointed General Seth Obeng as ECOWAS envoy to Liberia. He would act as liaison between ECOWAS and Liberia on issues of security.
“When non-state parties have access to weapons, especially light ones across the border, it’s a matter of real concern especially to extent that they impact on conflicts in the sub-region”, he stated.
Alhaji Mumuni said Liberia has been very concerned about the activities of non-state parties along its border with La Cote D’Ivoire and in Liberia in the build-up to the October elections and what implications it would have on the elections and are very happy with the decisions made.
On what Ghana’s contribution would be to ensuring security and peace during Liberia’s elections, Alhaji Mumuni said “as you know, Ghana has already got troops in the UN Peace-keeping force in Liberia and Cote D’Ivoire and therefore Ghana’s contribution is already made.”
The President was met on arrival by some Ministers of State and Service Commanders.