ECOWAS ministers discuss combating terrorism in West Africa
ECOWAS ministers attending 72nd Ordinary Session in Ghana’s capital, Accra on Friday, said activities of extremists and terrorists posed grave danger and threatened security in member states.
No measure of international support will succeed without the cooperation of the people who reside in the affected areas
They expressed concern over the sources of funding for terrorist activities that are spreading across the region.
ECOWAS Commission president Kadre Desire, bemoaned the rising threat of insurgents to peace and security in the sub-region and pressed on ECOWAS members to beef up intelligence sharing efforts and marshal resources to combat it.
Ghana’s Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration minister Hannah Tetteh said “Today, the growing threats of Al Qaeda in the Maghreb and the Sahel region have become real in our sub-region…”
She said: “The activities of Boko Haram in northern Nigeria pose grave danger to security in the sub-region and Africa.”
“We must, therefore, take pragmatic steps to identify and react appropriately to the methods used by terrorists and terrorist groups and their supporters to collect, transfer and utilise funds for their activities in the region.”
More than 270 Nigerian girls were abducted from a secondary school in the village of Chibok on April 14, by a militant group, Boko Haram.
To end the activities of Boko Haram, the ministers urged the people of Nigeria to close ranks in support of government efforts and the international community’s commitment to fight terrorism.
“No measure of international support will succeed without the cooperation of the people who reside in the affected areas and Nigeria in general,” Tetteh said.
The people of northern Mali, particularly those in Kidal city were also advised to dialogue with their government, as provided by the Ouagadougou Accord, “but not allow terrorists and people with questionable ideologies to derail the peace efforts.”
African leaders are faced with a myriad of growing danger of cross-border crimes including piracy, illicit trafficking in humans, drugs, small arms and light weapons.