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ECOWAS defence chiefs to meet on Ivory Coast

by Staff Writers
Abuja (AFP) Jan 14, 2011
Defence chiefs from west Africa will meet next week in the Malian capital on the politcal crisis in Ivory Coast, the regional economic bloc ECOWAS said Friday.

More than 200 people have died since the November 28 presidential election in Ivory Coast with opposition leader Alassane Quattara internationally recognised as the winner, but incumbent strongman Laurent Gbagbo has not accepted that result and has refused to step down.

"The ECOWAS committee of the chiefs of defence staff (CCDS) will hold its first quarterly statutory meeting for 2011 from 18th to 20th January in Bamako, Mali, to review the security situation in the region," the Economic Community of West African States said.

It said the situation in Ivory Coast would form a major part of the meeting, which will also have in attendance the force commanders of UN missions in Ivory Coast and Liberia.

"The chiefs of defence staff will also review the planning update on a proposed mission to Cote d'Ivoire which they began during an extra-ordinary meeting held in Abuja on 28th and 29th December 2010," ECOWAS said.

ECOWAS has threatened the use of force if Gbagbo does not yield power in favour of Ouattara.

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