ECOWAS Executive Secretary Lansana Kouyate told IRIN today the speedy deployment of ECOMOG troops in Guinea Bissau, foreseen in a peace accord between rival civil war factions, depended on logistical and financial support from the international community and donors.
Speaking from Lome, where he attended talks between the rival leaders in Guinea Bissau on this issue and on the formation of a government of national unity, he said France was the lead country being solicited for logistical support. He said Portugal could also play a very important role in finding money, and he was “cautiously optimistic” about the outcome.
Until logistics and money were received, he said, it would be impossible to say exactly when troops could be deployed. Under the Abuja peace accord deployment is to be completed by the end of December, allowing for the simultaneous withdrawal of Senegalese and Guinean troops in the country. Benin, The Gambia, Niger and Togo, Kouyate said, had offered troops which could number 1,450. But rebel leader Ansumane Mane is reported to want only 500. Kouyate said there was nothing fixed about the number that could be sent and he was sending emissaries for further talks with the government and Mane on this issue.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
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