Addis Ababa January 19/2013 The Commissions of the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) held a coordination meeting here on re-establishment of national unity of Mali, AU said .
According to a statement, AU sent to ENA, the meeting was held as part of the efforts to speed up the deployment of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA), to help Mali re-establish its national unity and territorial integrity and facilitate the effective restoration of constitutional order in the country.
The meeting was co-chaired by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, and the ECOWAS Commissioner for Potical Affairs, Peace and Security, Salamata Hussaini Suleiman.
The meeting discussed issues of command and control for the (AFISMA), force generation and funding.
The participants exchanged views on how best to expeditiously operationalize and enhance the command and control of the Mission.
In the meanwhime, it was agreed to set up a Mali Integrated Task Force (MITF) at the AU Headquarters that would comprise experts from the AU, ECOWAS and the UN, as well as representatives of other international stakeholders, to provide strategic guidance and advice for AFISMA.
The meeting noted the designation of AFISMA Force and Deputy Force Commanders and their deployment to Mali, the statement said.
The meeting welcomed the progress made regarding the generation of forces for AFISMA. It was agreed, in line with the African character of the force, to source additional contributions from other AU member States.
In this respect, the AU Commission will leade the fforts towards mobilizing contingents from outside the ECOWAS region, to join AFISMA, according to the statement.