By John Okeke
The President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou has expressed worry that ECOWAS may not meet the African Union’s agenda of silencing the gun by 2020.
One of the aspects of the 2063 agenda of the African Union, is ‘Silencing the Gun by 2020’. It is a campaign that aims to rid the continent of wars, violent conflicts, human rights violations and humanitarian disasters.
Speaking in Niamey on the occasion of the swearing in of the fifth legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament, President Issoufou said the ECOWAS region was still ravaged with threats of terrorism, criminal activities and inter community conflicts.
He said the Sahel region and lake chad were seriously affected by conflicts aggravated by the Libyan crises.
He therefore called on member state to strengthen their solidarity to combat the threats by facing the situation squarely.
The President said it was for this reason that the five member states of the Sahel region, G5 , requested for the creation of combined force.
‘It is also in this regard that member states of G5 Sahel and France appealed on the occasion 0f the summit held on January 13th 2020 for the creation of a Sahel coalition to combat terrorism’.
He said the coalition is expected to focus on four areas which include intensifying the combat of terrorism, reinforcing military capacity of the G5 countries, reinforcing state presence and administration in the conflict areas as well as social economic development.
The composition of the coalition force, according to him , is expected to be comprised of units from the European Special Force while ECOWAS member states are supposed to be part of the coalition either collectively through the standby force or individually.
President Issoufou who is also the Chairman of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government said member country of the regional body was also invited to the next summit which will be held in Brussels to provide content to the security and stabilization plan for the Sahel region.
Another security threat noted by President Issoufou was the spread of Corona Virus in the region.
To this end, he called for a regional response to tackle the disease while expressing optimism that the region would be able to live up to expectation in the same way it tacked the outbreak of Ebola.