ECOWAS security chiefs draw plans to fight terrorism, piracy
The Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff, on Thursday indicated that it had mapped out firm measures to deal with piracy and terrorism in the sub-region.
Piracy and terrorism have been identified as real threat to peace, stability and development in West Africa, Lieutenant General (Lt. Gen.) de Corps d’Amee Somaila Bakayoko, Chief of Defence Staff of Cote d’Ivoire and Chairman of the committee said.
He made the remarks at the closing ceremony of the 32nd ordinary meeting of ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff.
The two-day event was on the theme: “Enhancing ECOWAS military cooperation for peace, stability and development.”
Lt. Gen. Bakayoko said chiefs of defence staff have conducted an overview of the security situation in the sub-region and initiated firm measures to address the challenges, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea and Mali.
He said sub-regional and international forces were making efforts to provide adequate security before, during and after the scheduled Malian elections.
Lt. Gen. Bakayoko said: “Our modus operandi is to empower the security on the ground to ensure election is conducted in Mali without any hitches…we will ensure ‘armed forces’ do not derail the election.
He said security agencies would marshal resources and coordinate actions to effectively combat the scourge of terrorism, “we deploy terrorism”.
Lt. Gen Bakayoko said: “The fact that people cannot move freely is an impediment to development”.
He announced that the ECOWAS heads of states have expressed their commitment to fighting terrorism in order to guarantee sustainable peace, stability and development.