The Mediation and Security Council (MSC) at ministerial level of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), started its 49th session this Wednesday, November 30, 2022 in Abuja , in Nigeria, to deliberate on ways and means to improve the security situation in the region.
This ministerial session will examine the report of the 37th Mediation and Security Council at the level of Ambassadors as well as a series of memoranda approved by the Representatives of Member States accredited to ECOWAS. In addition to Peace and Security issues, the ministers will notably assess the progress of activities, with regard to the establishment of national early warning centers as well as the humanitarian situation at the regional level.
Addressing the members of the Mediation and Security Council at the opening of the session, His Excellency Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission, said that the regional security and humanitarian situation constitute today the greatest challenge to peace but also to economic, social and human progress in West Africa. “…the members of the Mediation and Security Council are called upon to recommend additional measures and creative strategies to operationalize the ECOWAS Plan of Action 2020 – 2024 for the eradication of terrorism, including the intensification of the mobilization of internal and external resources; the provision of the necessary logistics and equipment to strengthen the operational capacity of the ECOWAS Standby Force, while seriously considering its deployment in critical areas to help fight against terrorist groups,” he said. .
His Excellency Major-General (Rtd) Bashir Magashi, Minister of Defense of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in his welcome address to the participants, called on Member States to be resilient in the face of all current terrorist threats and to support the 2020 – 2024 ECOWAS regional counter-terrorism action plan. He also expressed his wish to see the ministers adopt the text aimed at combating unconstitutional changes in the region.
Launching the works, Her Excellency Suzi Carla Barbosa, Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Communities of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau and President of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, affirmed that the region is troubled by the phenomenon linked to terrorism, insecurity, violent extremism and coups.
HE Suzi Carla Barbosa commended all the initiatives taken by ECOWAS with the aim of guaranteeing regional peace and security. She nevertheless added that other actions or initiatives, as well as political will remain necessary for the maintenance of lasting peace, regional stability as well as the fight against the effects of climate change and food insecurity.
At the end of the deliberations, the conclusions of the Mediation and Security Council will be transmitted to the Conference of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS which will be held shortly in Abuja.