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ECOWAS Commission President’s statement in the wake of the barbaric attack on the site of the Joint Operational Mechanism in Gao

Abuja, 18 January 2017.

The ECOWAS Commission President, His Excellency Mr. Marcel A. de SOUZA, has learnt with outrage and great shock the car-bomb attack perpetrated on 18 January 2017, at the site of the Joint Operational Mechanism (JOM) in Gao during the training of joint patrol elements, killing over sixty people and wounding several dozens including Mali’s Defence and Security Forces as well as combatants of movements signatories to the Malian Peace and Reconciliation Agreement, following the Algiers talks.

The ECOWAS Commission President vigorously condemns this violent and senseless act which undermines the numerous efforts by the Malian Government and the International Community to restore peace and stability in the country.

On this sad occasion, the ECOWAS Commission President condemns this heinous act in the strongest terms and extends his heartfelt condolences to the Government and People of Mali, as well as to the bereaved families.

The ECOWAS Commission President takes this opportunity to once again make an urgent appeal to all stakeholders in the implementation of the Peace Agreement to step up efforts to deter enemies of peace and human rights. It should also be recalled that the effective presence of Mali’s defence and security forces throughout the national territory represents a minimum guarantee of security for persons and property, and the first line of defence for public safety.

The ECOWAS Commission President urges the International Community to as soon as possible conduct an assessment of the security strategy to ensure that true peace finally prevails in Mali.

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