Freitag, Februar 23, 2001

Pierre Wettach signs ICRC agreement with ECOWAS

Source: The ICRC in AfricaOn 15 February the International Commitee of the Red Cross (ICRC) concluded a cooperation agreement with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja, Nigeria. The agreement, signed by Lansana Kouyate, Executive Secretary of ECOWAS, and Pierre Wettach, ICRC Delegate-General for Africa, provides for the exchange of information and consultation on matters of common interest.

Under the agreement, ECOWAS, a regional body that plays a major role in settling conflicts in West Africa, and the ICRC, whose status as a humanitarian player is now officially recognized, may undertake joint activities with a view to achieving common objectives. "This is an important agreement," said Pierre Wettach. "It recognizes the independent, impartial and neutral nature of the ICRC and will thus facilitate acceptance of our working principles in conflict areas."

ICRC delegates have already begun to raise awareness of international humanitarian law among the troops of the Economic Community Monitoring Group, the military branch of ECOWAS, in preparation for the deployment of this buffer force in the border area between Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Moreover, each organization may now be invited to take part as an observer in the meetings of the other.

ECOWAS was set up in 1975 to promote economic integration in West Africa. It has 15 member States: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

[ Read On: Source: ICRC ]

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