About 100 military observers from several ECOWAS member countries were deployed Tuesday in the five economic regions of Togo to secure the electoral process in the country, after being introduced to Togolese authorities and the media.
The military observer mission, for the country's 14 Oct. legislative polls, is led by Col. Siaka Sangare of Mali as coordinator, while Col. Kodio Lougue of Burkina faso is the chief of staff.According to the mission coordinator, the group is mainly made up of military officers with strong experience in security issues.
The following countries have contributed officers to the mission: Benin (5), Burkina Faso (10), Cote d'Ivoire (10), Gambia (5), Ghana (5), Guinea Conakry (5), Guinea-Bissau (5), Liberia (5), Mali (10), Niger (5), Nigeria (5), Senegal (10) and Sierra Leone (5).
The remaining officers were from the ECOWAS Commission.
According to a document released to the media, the mission's mandate is to prevent unrest and violence, monitor the behaviour of security forces, share intelligence and assist observers.
Deployed in the five economic regions of Togo, all the mission's teams have autonomous equipment, hi-tech transmission equipment with satellite communication, imaging and e-mail facilities, the Malian coordinator added.
In addition to the military observers, ECOWAS will deploy 40 civilian observers, said the ECOWAS special envoy to Togo, Nigeria's Mai Manga Bukar.
The deployment of ECOWAS military observers follows pre-election fact- finding missions to Togo between June and September.