Air Vice Marshal Christian Edem Kobla Dovlo, Commandant of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) has called for a research and study into the new security challenges in the sub-region.
Air Vice Marshal Dovlo said the research study would help curb the numerous armed conflicts and other related security threats.
He said, “Armed conflicts have plagued the West African sub-region over the past decade resulting in the deaths of millions of citizens and thwarting the developmental efforts of government.”
He made the proposal in Accra on Monday, during a day’s round table conference on “Developing the capacity to meet West Africa’s future security challenges”, jointly organised by the Institute of Defence Analysis (IDA) of USA and the KAIPTC.
Participants from Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal would deliberate on how to overcome cross border crime, proliferation of small arms and addressing problems of human rights abuses in the sub-region.
Air Marshal Dovlo said, “Newer threats emanating from transnational terrorism, human rights violation, transnational organised crime, drug trafficking, disaster management, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, maritime safety and security and governances issues have raised the need for a research and study of these new security challenges”.
He said it was important to consider the challenges to peace and security in West Africa, assess the existing capacity, and determine the challenges that need to take place at the strategic and operational levels, to meet the challenges effectively.
He therefore called on the conference to aim at documenting the policy initiatives of individual nations and the regional organisation to improve diplomatic, military and other conflict management capabilities in future peace support operations in West Africa.
He said through the sub-regional organisation, ECOWAS, it had in the past recorded a lot of successes in conflict management within West Africa, although it is still faced with more complex issues, which required more sophisticated tools to fight with.
“A lot of these challenges are extraneous even to the region, some are governance, economic. Some are even from restive military as in Mali and Guinea Bissau” he stressed, and called for a collective effort to address the problems.
Mr Kwaku Dua Dankwa, Deputy National Security Coordinator called on the academia to without any prejudice, review the development agenda of the country, to ensure that development infrastructure benefited the people.
He appealed to all citizens in the country, irrespective of political affiliation, to join the fight against organised crime, including drug trafficking, to save the nation from drug barons, who are security threats in other countries.