Abuja, Nigeria – The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo has welcomed Tuesday’s agreement between the Mali Transitional Government and the MNLA High Council for the Unity of AZAWAD, that paves the way for the presidential elections and inclusive peace and dialogue in the West African country.

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The President of the Commission expressed his deepest gratitude to President of Faso and ECOWAS mediator for Mali, Blaise Compaoré, and President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and associate mediator, for their commitments and unflinching efforts that made it possible ‘to achieve this significant advance towards peace’.
A statement issued by ECOWAS on Wednesday in Abuja said Ouedraogo welcomed the involvement of the African Union and all the strategic ECOWAS partners, especially the United Nations, the European Union and France, ‘which left no stone unturned in their efforts to provide effective support to the Malians in the process of exiting from the crisis’.
‘The President of the Commission commends the Transitional National Union Government in particular, and all the Malian actors involved in this process for their  sense of commitment and their demonstrated will in the signing of this Agreement in the supreme interest of the nation of Mali.’
Ouedraogo reiterated ECOWAS’ unflinching attachment to the territorial integrity, national unity and secularity of Mali, and urged all their stakeholders to use their creative genius for the rebirth of a new, sovereign and prosperous nation.
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also welcomed the pact between the Government of Mali and Tuareg rebels, providing for an immediate ceasefire and paving the way for country-wide presidential elections next month.
In a statement made available to PANA in New York on Wednesday, Ban expressed delight with the accord, reached by the Malian Government and the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad and the High Council for the Unity of Azawad, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
“The agreement provides for an immediate ceasefire, paves the way for the holding of presidential elections nationwide and commits the parties to discussing sustainable peace in Mali through an inclusive dialogue that will take place after the election,” it said.
It also quoted the UN chief as saying he is encouraged by the parties’ commitment to national reconciliation and the resolution of differences through dialogue.
Pana 20/06/2013

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