West Africa: Ecowas Needs Clear Policy Direction to Tackle Terrorism- President Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called for a clear policy direction by ECOWAS on how to put up with issues of terrorism in the Sahel region.

The President said an opinion must be reached on a strategy going forward if the ECOWAS is to make any meaningful impact in solving the issues of terrorism in the West African region.

These were the comments President Akufo-Addo made when the President of the ECOWAS Commission H.E. Dr Omar Alieu Touray, called on him at the Jubilee House on Monday.

Dr Omar Alieu Touray and his team are in Ghana to seek the leadership and guidance of President Akufo-Addo on how to build a formidable force that will deal decisively with terrorism in the region.

President Akufo-Addo explained that Ghana alone could not lead the charge on the matter unless the regional bloc gathered synergy and worked collectively.

He said there has to be an agreement amongst the Heads of State "as to our strategy going forward," he said, adding: "The whole scenario that is emerging requires that we have a consensus amongst us as to how we retreat the alliance of Sahel states.

"For me, that is the noble point. The epicentre of terrorism in our region is there .... I think it is important that the Heads of State meet to clarify exactly what are the parameters in which we should go in trying to define the policy," he said.

Dr Omar Alieu Touray briefed the President on the outcomes of recent engagements and meetings on counter-terrorism measures in the region.

"On your instructions and the instruction of your colleagues, we have convened meetings of Chief of Defence Staffs, Ministers of Defence and Security to look at ways and means of deactivating ECOWAS's standby force and review ECOWAS plans of action, which ends this year but not much has happened since when it was adopted", he told President Akufo-Addo.

He gave President Akufo-Addo updates on some recommendations gathered as part of their engagements, including the idea of having a regional standby force that would consist of at least 5000 men and women with a supporting budget of some $ 2.4 billion.

Another proposal is to have a Brigade of 1500 men and women with a supporting budget of about $1 billion.

Further discussions, he said, include modalities for funding for peace operations in the region.

Dr Omar Alieu Touray said the Commission is thus seeking guidance on how to raise the financing whether internally or with external support to meet its financing obligations for its peace operations.

"We believe your mission would include leading us on ways to raise the 25 per cent that we need to raise, whether we decide to go for the 5000 or 1500 and whether we would have to raise the resources internally or with partner support".

AllAfrica publishes around 500 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.