Aug 22, 2012, 9:36 AM
The two-day meeting of the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CCDS) comes in the wake of the invitation to ECOWAS by the Government of Mali for the deployment of MICEMA.
A sub-committee of the CCDS met with Mali’s military in mid-August 2012 in order to ensure the convergence of views with ECOWAS on the first phase of the MICEMA mission, which is to provide security for the authorities and transition institutions.
The August 2012 meeting also agreed on the harmonization of ECOWAS and Malian positions on the second and third phases of the MICEMA mission.
Specifically, it involves the contribution of MICEMA to capacity building of Mali’s defence and security forces by reorganizing and training them, as well as supporting the forces to retake Northern Mali currently occupied by an Islamist rebel group.
The forthcoming extraordinary session of the CCDS will also review the concept of operation for MICEMA whose deployment will contribute to the resolution of the crisis in that country.
In another development, ministers in charge of security in ECOWAS member states are to meet on Saturday, 15th September 2012 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, to review the security situation and make recommendations for crime control and ensure security in the region.
This 9th Meeting of the Forum of Ministers will be preceded by the 13th Annual General Assembly of the West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO) on Thursday, 13th September, and the Meeting of the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Security Services (CCSS), on Friday, 14th September 2012.
Kicking off the gatherings at a time of heightened security challenges in the region, will be the 8th Annual Meeting of the West Africa National Central Bureau of INTERPOL on Wednesday, 12th September 2012, all in the Ivorian capital.
The ministerial forum will consider and adopt the reports of the WAPCCO and CCSS meetings.
The WAPCCO was created as a mechanism to reinforce intra-Community police cooperation and information exchange towards the collective combating of crime in order to promote regional security.
The WAPCCO Annual General Assembly brings together the National Police of ECOWAS Member States, the INTERPOL, the CCSS and Ministers in Charge of Security to be updated and discuss issues that bother on crime control and regional security.
The various security meetings serve as a platform to monitor and measure the status of the implementation of recommendations made at WAPCCO preparatory meetings, identify challenges, security trends in the region and proffer concrete actions to be taken.
The Regional Security Division of the ECOWAS Commission, which serves as the WAPCCO Permanent Secretariat is charged with organizing and coordinating the different levels of annual meetings with a view to bringing together the relevant stakeholders to report, discuss, analyze, strategize and make recommendations in line with international best practices on crime trends and police collaboration in the region.