ECOWAS considering proposals to establish Forum of National Security advisors

In view of the increasing terrorist attacks and violent extremism in the West African sub-region, ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council is examining proposals to establish the Forum of National Security advisors.

The Forum would reinforce the security architecture of the sub-region and ensure concrete and full operationalisation of the Maritime Centre in the Gulf of Guinea.

Ms Shirley Ayorko Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Chair of the Mediation and Security Council, announced this at the opening ceremony of the 46th Ordinary Meeting of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council at the Ministerial Level, in Accra on Tuesday.

The meeting would deliberate on critical issues affecting the political and security situation in the sub-region and make recommendations for the consideration of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government during its 59th Ordinary Summit on Saturday, June 19,2021.

Ms Botchwey said the meeting would also receive an update on the implementation of the National Early Warning Centre and the humanitarian situation in the sub-region.

The Minister observed that the meeting was taking place against the backdrop of the increasing terrorist and violent extremist attacks, which had the potential of undermining the regional integration process.

She cited the cascading terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso that claimed 132 innocent lives recently and incidents of bloodshed in Niger and Nigeria, coupled with the military takeover in Mali, ousting the transitional government on May 24, this year.

Ms Botchwey said Mali’s socio-political crisis remained a priority to ECOWAS and would work collaboratively to restore constitutional rule in that country.

“I am confident that our deliberations today as a Community will allow us to make greater progress in bringing peace and security in our region,” Ms Botchwey added.

The Minister lauded the successful conduct of Presidential Elections in Benin and Niger despite the restrictions posed  by the Covid-19 pandemic, saying that would go a long way in consolidating the democratic gains in the sub-region.

The meeting was attended by the ECOWAS Commission President, Mr Jean Claude Kassi BROU, ECOWAS Commissioners and supporting staff.

Source: GNA

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