Togo has sent troops to Guinea Bissau as part of its contribution to the West African peacekeeping force, ECOMOG, due to be deployed there under a peace accord signed by rival civil war factions, a Togolese foreign ministry official told IRIN today.
He said the ministry could not confirm the exact number of troops sent and how many more would follow. But Reuters reported that the first contingent numbered 80 and the French news agency, AFP, reported later that another 40 were to be flown in today. Reuters said the contingent’s first mission will be to open Bissau airport.
The troops are to be joined by contingents from Benin, Gambia and Niger. The total number of troops to be deployed has not been fixed but is expected to be between 1,400 and 1,500. The agreement to send troops was reached in a peace deal in November between the government of President Joao Bernardo Vieira and General Ansumane Mane, his sacked defence chief, in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
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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