ECOWAS mourns Amb. Uwechue

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ECOWAS PresidentThe President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Kadré Ouédraogo has commiserated with the government and people of Nigeria over the death of Amb. Ralph Uwechue.

Uwechue, Nigeria’s first Ambassador to France died in Abuja at the age of 79 after a brief illness.

A statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by the ECOWAS Spokesman, Mr Sunny Ugoh, described Uwechue as a “distinguished diplomat, renowned administrator, author and an illustrious Pan-Africanist.’’

“The commission sympathises with Nigeria and the family of this fallen son of Africa and voice of wisdom for the irreparable loss by his death.

“On behalf of the commission and the people of the region, I wish to convey our heartfelt sympathy to the government and people of Nigeria,’’ it said.

The statement noted that Uwechue, during his life time deployed his vast experiences and international connections to champion the cause of peace and development in Africa.

It added that he was involved in the resolution of several crises in the West African region.

Uwechue would be remembered for his quiet but “impactful diplomacy” including as the Head of the ECOWAS Mission in Cote d’Ivoire (ECOMICI) from 2002 to 2007, the statement said.

“During that period, Uwechue coordinated the region’s political engagements in Cote d’Ivoire and the ECOWAS Peacekeeping Operations with great effectiveness.

“He contributed to the resolution of that crisis before the integration of ECOMICI into the UN Peacekeeping Mission in 2004,’’it said.

The statement also recalled with pride his exemplary role as the chairman of the International Monitoring Group in Cote d’Ivoire.

It added that the deceased would indeed be missed by the Commission