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ECOWAS offers aid to Cote d'Ivoire for election
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10:45, August 16, 2008

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) signed a document with Cote d'Ivoire Friday on an offer of aid to the organization of the country's presidential elections.

Kehinde Oli Semeka, representative of the ECOWAS, said the fund, totaling 250 million FCFA (598,086 U.S. dollars), will be used by the country's Independent Election Commission (IEC).

Semeka expressed hope that peace will return to Cote d'Ivoire following the country's democratic election in November.

IEC President Robert Beugre Mambe said the ECOWAS's support is "a very strong signal" to show that the regional bloc is "with us."

The IEC head promised to make good use of the financial support.

Cote d'Ivoire descended into chaos after the former New Forces rebels seized the northern part of the country in the wake of a botched coup in September 2002.

The country is in the midst of a peace process that has gathered momentum since President Laurent Gbagbo and Prime Minister Soro signed the Ouagadougou peace agreement in March 2007.

Different parities in Cote d'Ivoire agreed in April to hold presidential elections on Nov. 30.


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