ABIDJAN, July 27
The standby force of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is “ready” to be deployed to Mali, Cote d’Ivoire’s army chief general Soumaila Bakayoko has said.
“The ECOWAS Mission to Mali (MICEMA) is ready to execute its mission once it’s deployed to Mali,” Bakayoko said on Thursday in Abidjan after a two-day meeting of the Committee of West African army chiefs. He also pointed out ECOWAS is only awaiting a resolution of the United Nations Security Council.
“We have already identified 3,000 officers and we are only awaiting the UN’s authorization,” he added. He revealed “13 countries out of the 15 ECOWAS member states, will be present in Mali, working alongside their Malian brothers in the armed force.” “The objective of MICEMA is to support the Malian army so that together, we can re-establish the country’s territorial integrity by pushing back the rebels and other armed terrorists who are currently occupying the northern parts of the country,” the Cote d’Ivoire army chief reiterated.
He announced the regional army chiefs will be in Bamako on Aug. 9 for the final meeting to plan on how the ECOWAS force will intervene in Mali.