By Fortune Abang
The President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr Jean Brou, has called for collaborative efforts among member states, to address issues bordering on regional peace and security.
Brou made the call in Abuja during his presentation of the report on implementation of the community work programme at the First Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Parliament.
He decried terrorists attacks in some member states of the Sahel and the multiplication of conflicts between herdsmen and farmers in the region.
He said that continuous efforts needed to be pursued to tackle the challenges, which still remained strong and diverse.
According to him, “2017 was marked by the persistence of some crises that were accompanied by protests.
“With regard to regional peace and security, coordinated efforts must be made to fight against terrorism in the Sahel zone.
“Terrorism remains one of the most significant threats to regional security; terrorist attacks on defense and security forces, as well as civilian population have intensified in Mali, Niger, Burkina and Nigeria.
“The attacks resulted in many casualties, caused severe disruption to school and economic activities, displacement of population and food insecurity.”
He said that the commission had carried out G5 Sahel Joint Task Force Operations to fight against terrorism, through supports of bilateral and multilateral partnerships within the region.
The president explained that the action was in addition to the efforts being deployed under the Multinational Joint Task Force of the Lake Chad Basin.
He identified Togo, Mali and the Gambia to be among other countries being faced with regional peace and security challenges.
He said that despite concerted efforts being made by the Malian government, security situations remained difficult in the sorth.
Brou said that plans were underway by the commission to participate in the International Conference for the Gambia scheduled to hold on May 22, in Brussels.
He said that the aim was to sustain international attention and to support the Gambia’s peace-building and development priorities.