General News of Monday, 30 September 2002
The Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) at the end of an emergency summit in Accra on the political crisis in Cote d'Ivoire on Sunday decided to create a high level mediation mission of Heads of States to prevail on the rebels to immediately cease all hostilities in that country.
The mission comprises Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Togo and is to establish contact with the insurgents and prevail upon them to restore normalcy to the occupied towns and negotiate a general framework for the resolution of the crisis.
Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Executive Secretary of ECOWAS, who read an 18-point communiqu? at the end of the summit, said the special representative of the African Union "shall work in liaison with Mediation Mission".
The Chairman of the Ministerial Mediation and Security Council and the Executive Secretary of the ECOWAS shall work closely with the Mediation Mission.
The communiqu? said: "The Heads of States strongly urged the insurgents, who continue to occupy several towns to desist from all violence and attacks against the inhabitants of these towns and to engage in immediate dialogue with the ECOWAS Mediation Mission with a view to laying down their arms and settling their dispute with the government by peaceful means."
It said the Heads of States and Governments have also decided to convene immediately an emergency meeting of the Defence and Security Commission to consider the military option while diplomatic means were being explored to bring peace and stability to Cote D'Ivoire.
It appealed to all Ivorians to continue to settle their differences through dialogue in the spirit of fraternity while re-affirming the commitment of the Heads of States to the defence of democracy, good governance and the
rule of law by every means at their disposal.
"The summit expresses satisfaction at the reassurances given by President Gbagbo, who informed the Heads of State that the insurgents were mercenaries. The Heads of States and Governments appealed to President Gbagbo and President Compaore to urge their peoples to maintain relations of good neighbourliness, fraternity and solidarity."
The communiqu? said the summit urged member states to create favourable conditions for the establishment of good relations between the military and civil society and its members to respects the protocol of non-aggression and mutual assistance in defence.
It expressed condolences to all families who have lost loved ones and sympathised with all those who suffered from the violence engendered by the events, which began on September 19.
It said the Heads of States and Governments appealed to the international communities to support all initiatives taken by ECOWAS to restore peace and stability to Cote d'Ivoire.
The Summit commended President John Agyekum Kufuor and the people of Ghana for ensuring the success of the summit.