ECOWAS leaders plan peacekeeping force to counter ‘coup belt’ reputation

Date:

ABUJA, Dec 4 – West African leaders said on Sunday they would establish a regional peacekeeping force to intervene in member states to help restore security and constitutional order in a region that has witnessed several coups in the past two years.

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West and Central Africa has made strides in the past decade to shed its reputation as a “coup belt”, but the Economic Commission for West African States (ECOWAS) wants to do more to boost constitutional government in its member states.

“The leaders of ECOWAS have decided to recalibrate our security architecture to ensure that we take care of our own security in the region,” the leaders said in a communique after an annual summit in Nigeria’s capital Abuja.

“The leaders are determined to establish a regional force that will intervene in the event of need, whether this is in the area of security, terrorism (or to) … restore constitutional order in member countries.”

ECOWAS did not give any details of how the force would be constituted but said defence chiefs would meet next month to work out how it would operate.

The ECOWAS leaders also expressed concern over the continued detention of 46 Ivorian soldiers in Mali. They asked Malian authorities to release the soldiers by the end of this month.

If the soldiers were not released, ECOWAS leaders “reserve the right and they have taken the decision to take certain measures but they would appeal and call on the authorities of Mali to release the soldiers.”

On Guinea, the leaders said the military authorities should immediately have an inclusive dialogue with all the parties and politicians, and also expressed serious concern about the security situation in Burkina Faso, which had a coup in October.

Gbenga Samson
Gbenga Samsonhttp://ThisDayLive.com
Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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