West African bloc calls extraordinary summit on Mali

ABIDJAN Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:45am EST

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - The West African regional bloc ECOWAS has called an extraordinary summit for Saturday in Ivory Coast to discuss the military campaign against Islamist rebels in Mali, a Ivorian minister said on Sunday.

"The heads of state will come together to consult and to evaluate the situation," said Ali Coulibaly, African Integration Minister for Ivory Coast, which holds the rotating chairmanship of the 15-nation bloc.

Coulibaly said an emergency contingent of ECOWAS troops, scrambled at short notice after France intervened with airstrikes in Mali on Friday, would start arriving in Bamako on Sunday.

(Reporting by Joe Bavier; writing by Daniel Flynn; editing by Andrew Roche)

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