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ECOWAS focuses on regional security

May 29, 2014, 9:58 AM

We understand that ECOWAS leaders are meeting in Ghana tomorrow Friday 30 May and are expected “to discuss important issues affecting the sub-region including the Boko Haram threat in Nigeria.”

It has been reported that the chairman of ECOWAS, President John Mahama of Ghana, has summoned sub-regional leaders for a meeting in Accra, as part of efforts to enhance security and regional integration in the sub-region.

A range of issues “of urgent and mutual concern” will be discussed by the heads of state attending; with a presentation by the president of the ECOWAS Commission Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo, a close session meeting by the leaders, and a press conference.

It is evident from recent events that ECOWAS is now giving due emphasis to the issue of security.

Our readers would recall that we reported the convening of the 5th meeting of the heads of intelligence and security services (HISS) of the countries of the Sahelo-Saharan region, which took place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on 19 and 20 May 2014.

A similar meeting of ECOWAS police and security chiefs was earlier convened by John Mahama in Accra, we also reported recently.

Meanwhile, a joint meeting of regional ambassadors accredited to ECOWAS and the technical committee on political affairs was held in Accra in February 2014. It ended with a recommendation to ECOWAS to “initiate reflections towards a strategic approach to emerging threats to peace and security in the region, includingterrorism, biological, chemical, and climate change-related threats.”

“ECOWAS should encourage member states to prevent state fragility through the creation of environment conducive for strengthening democratic governance,” the meeting also recommended.

This is a very important recommendation, when you consider that bad governance is the root cause of most of the conflicts and security crises we face today in Africa.

Participants in the Accra meeting also urged ECOWAS’s full participation in AU decision-making processes on peace and security-related subjects in order to ensure effective implementation within the framework of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).

The consolidated recommendations emanating from the Accra meeting were to be presented for consideration and adoption by the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council (MSC), for onward submission to the Authority of heads of state and government."

“I think often people don’t realize the great diversity of Southern writing because in their minds, if you’re not from the South, it can seem regional and small, and of course that’s not the case at all when you start to read the work.”

Natasha Trethewey