Abuja, Nigeria, MAY 11, 2022. Ecowas and its Member States’ Ambassadors are charting a way forward for regional stability, peace, and security. The intensified cooperation was reinforced at the thematic briefing session with Member States’ Ambassadors held on the 10th of May in Abuja, Nigeria.
Speaking on the session’s theme: 2022 Security outlook amidst military incursion into politics and the limits of ECOWAS Peace and Security Mechanisms, the Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission Madam Finda Koroma restated the ECOWAS’ commission’s commitment to peace and security, noting that the existing mechanisms for these, would continue to be strengthened to respond to the regional dynamics.
She commended the Commission’s partners for their consistent efforts in promoting peace and stability in the face of the recent resurgence of military coups in the region while assuring that within the framework of its mandate, ECOWAS will continue to promote a conducive atmosphere for harmony and integration. In his opening remarks, the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and security, Gen Francis Behanzin, represented by the Director, Political Affairs Dr. Aderemi Ajibewa, noted that the briefing session presents the opportunity for analysis of the various security threats and examination of the current relapse in the regional democratic space, typified by the coup d’états in Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso as well as the attempted coup in Guinea Bissau, within a space of six months.
The occurrences he added, “necessitates a retrospective interrogation of the events leading up to the coups, an evaluation of ECOWAS’ response, and the development of a strategy that will not only return the aforementioned member states to democratic rule but also ensure the prevention of future coups in the region” Presenting the 2022 regional peace and security outlook, the Executive Director of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) Dr. Chukwuemeka Eze, stressed the need to focus interventions on the drivers of conflict and instability. He established the linkage between Democracy and Governance, Organized Crime and Violent Extremism, Gender Peace and Security, and Environmental Security.
At the briefing which also had the online participation of the African Union, ECOWAS Ambassadors to Ethiopia, the Ambassadors took in presentations by the Nigerian Defense College (NDC) and ECOWAS officials from relevant Directorates which further highlighted the linkages between governance and security and the need to engage more on the subjects of youth inclusivity, women, peace and security among others.
The meeting closed with the full benefits of discussions, questions, and comments just as the Deputy Head of Mission/High Commissioner to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Amb Eddison Agbenyegah who chaired the session, charged authorities in the region to continue to respond to the peace and security challenges in the region, in a more decisive manner to avoid re-occurrences of military incursions and related instability.
The thematic session was also supported by partners including WANEP, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Inter-nationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and the European Union, through the ECOWAS Peace and Security Ar-chitecture and Operations (EPSAO) Project.