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Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya has described the death of Seychelles first President Sir James Richard Mancham as a great loss to the regional bloc. Sir Mancham died in his sleep on 8th January this year in Seychelles.

In a message of condolences, Mr Ngwenya said Sir Mancham was an advocate of regional integration whose wise counsel and guidance will be missed.

“The late President was a valuable and distinguished citizen of COMESA as he was an active member of the Committee of Elders from 2010 up to the time of his death. His input will be greatly missed,” the letter of condolences addressed to the President of Seychelles H.E. Danny Faure read in part.

Among other activities, Sir Mancham participated on behalf of COMESA, in the electoral observer mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Rwanda to seek solutions following the crisis that was caused by the M23 rebel movement in 2012 in the Great Lakes Region. He also provided support to an African Union and COMESA delegation that was deployed to Egypt on a pre-election mission following the revolution in 2011.

Director of Legal and Institutional Affairs at COMESA Secretariat Brian Chigawa attended the funeral service of Sir Mancham on behalf of Secretary General Ngwenya.