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Mar 19, 2015

Two African Sub-regional Blocs Meet To Discuss Security Issues

ACCRA, March 19 – GNA  The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) are to meet next month to discuss SECURITY and terrorists issues facing the two sub-regions.

The high-level summit, which is scheduled to take place on April 7 in a Central African nation, will also deliberate on a framework for economic co-operation between the two sub-regional blocs.

This was decided during talks between President John Mahama of Ghana, the current chair of the ECOWAS, and President General Idriss Deby Itno of Chad, who heads the ECCAS, at the Peduase Presidential Lodge near here Tuesday.

The meeting between the two leaders was a follow-up to last month's meeting in Accra between President Mahama, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasago of Equatorial Guinea and President Dennis Sassou-N'Guesso of the republic of Congo concerning the African Union-sanctioned Multi-National Joint Task Force on the Boko Haram Islamist militants.

It came against the backdrop of a consensus reached between the two economic communities to the effect that no nation can single-handedly neutralize the Boko Haram insurrection, whose marauding activities threaten not only the economic survival of Nigeria, Cameroun and Chad, where they are currently active, but Africa as a whole.

Mahama, after the closed-door meeting with his Chadian counterpart, described their engagement as a "historic meeting" between two sub-regional blocs, which were keen to tackle their common SECURITY threats and forge a potent economic alliance.

He commended the Chadian government for committing troops to help bring stability to Northern Mali when the Tuareg rebels struck that country, and also for its current support in quelling the Boko Haram insurgency.

The president said the ECOWAS-ECCAS summit would take place in a Central African country on April 7 and 8 this year.

He said their discussions also highlighted the need to forge closer bilateral ties between Ghana and Chad.

The foreign ministers of the two countries will explore the establishment of a Joint Permanent Commission for Co-operation. – GNA