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31 03 2022- ECOWAS Commission and Côte d'Ivoire inaugurate CRESMAO headquarters in Abidjan

The inauguration ceremony of the headquarters of the West African Regional Maritime Security Center (CRESMAO) was held this Thursday, March 31, 2022 under the chairmanship of Ivorian Prime Minister Patrick Achi represented by the Minister of Security and Protection Civilian General Vagondo Diomandé accompanied by Minister of Transport Amadou Koné, Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Lassina Doumbia and Navy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral N'guessan Kouamé Célestin . The ECOWAS Commission was represented at the highest level with the effective presence of its President HE Jean Claude Kassi Brou, the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security General Francis Béhanzin, the Director of Peacekeeping and Regional Security Dr. Cyriaque Agnékethom and the head of the Regional Security Division Colonel (Dr) Abdourahmane Dieng. This ceremony also marked the solemn passing of the baton between the CRESMAO interim team and Nigerian Rear Admiral Istifanus Mu'azu Albara, who has been in charge of the center since December 2021. The latter paid tribute to his predecessor Rear Admiral Boniface Konan whose merits have been recognized by all those involved. He and fourteen (14) of his former collaborators received plaques in recognition of their “pioneering” work. Boniface Konan was also decorated by the Interregional Center Coordinating Committee (CIC) of Yaoundé represented by its acting director, the Angolan Rear Admiral Junior Narciso Faztudo. Minister Vagondo, in his opening speech, reaffirmed Côte d'Ivoire's desire to support the implementation of the ECOWAS Integrated Maritime Strategy, of which CRESMAO is the keystone. He assured the ECOWAS Commission of the interest of the President of the Republic, His Excellency Alassane Ouattara, in the proper execution of the acts of the Yaoundé summit.

General Francis Béhanzin, in turn, conveyed the Commission's thanks to the State of Côte d'Ivoire for making the CRESMAO headquarters available.He hoped that the Ivorian authorities would continue in this dynamic and provide the regional maritime center with a permanent headquarters, the current headquarters being temporary.He appreciated the presence at the ceremony of the ambassadors of ECOWAS countries and partner countries, including Japan, and thanked them for their interest in CRESMAO which "plays a key role in theprotection of the common maritime domain of ECOWAS member countries”.


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