Representatives of nearly all members of the United Nations Security Council have started a 10-day fact-finding mission, led by British Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry, to seven West African countries, the UN spokesman said today.
The mission was scheduled to meet in Accra, Ghana, with the country's President, John Kufuor, who is one of the region's peace negotiators, and with Executive Director Mohammed Ibn Chambas of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
They were to stay overnight in the city before travelling to Abidjan, in neighbouring Côte d'Ivoire, where the UN has a peacekeeping mission (UNOCI). Ambassador Jones Parry has said the Council would carry a message that all parties in the country must live up to their responsibilities under the Linas-Marcoussis peace agreement and maintain the reconciliation process.
He told journalists last week that one of the mission's goals was to observe the UN peacekeeping operations in Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The other countries on the itinerary are Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria.
Taking part in the mission are representatives from China, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Angola, Chile, Germany, Pakistan, Spain, Algeria, Benin, Brazil, the Philippines and Romania.