ECOWAS Parliament says regional security operations must be strengthened to prevent coups

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament has called for collaboration between ECOWAS Commission and the African Union (AU) in order to strengthen collective regional security operations within West Africa that would ward off the constant threat of coup d’etat currently bedeviling the subregion.

This was one of the recommendations contained in the draft report presented at the end of the delocalized meeting of the ECOWAS Parliament Joint Committees on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and the African Peer Review Mechanism, Judicial Affairs and Human rights, Social Affairs, Gender and Women Empowerment in Monrovia, Liberia on Friday.

The delocalized meeting which held from July 25-28 with aim at proffering the best mechanisms for ensuring greater political inclusion in governance in member states, allowing for peace, security to prevent and resolve the multifaceted crisis faced by countries, in the draft report which would be adopted by plenary at the next session of the Parliament contained recommendations to the member states.

With the threats of insecurity in the region, the ECOWAS Parliament Committees stated that: “We appeal to the ECOWAS Commission to work hard to strengthen collective regional security operation in collaboration with the African Union and key partners.

“To encourage regional efforts in addressing the concerns and common security challenges that makes the state fragile and susceptible to coups.

“Encourages the ECOWAS Commission to continue to intensify dialogue with the transitional authorities in Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso.

“In other to ensure the follow up and implementation of the transition time-table with a view to accelerate the return to constitutional order in these states.

“Urges the ECOWAS Parliament to develop mechanisms to enable it to be proactive, operational in conflict prevention and management.

“Urges the member states to centralize military commands to avoid formation of elite military units or parallel military forces whose command and control is outside a unified command structure”.

Speaking to journalists at the end of the meeting, Senator Edwin Snowe, Leader of the Liberian Delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament lamented the backsliding in democratic rule in the sub-region, describing it as a shame on the region’s democracy and that it needed to be stopped forthrightly.

Snowe, who was Chair of the Joint Committees’ delocalized meeting expressed hope and optimism in the leadership of President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria who is Chair of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of States to intervene in the recent coup in the Republic of Niger.

He said: “It was actually in Guinea Bissau two weeks ago when President Tinubu declared zero tolerance to coup d’etats and less than two weeks later there is coup d’etat.

“This morning, the President (Liberia) have asked me to join him on Sunday to Abuja for the Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Heads of State. We hope that the Heads of States will come up with some decisive positions of this matter.

“It is actually a shame on our region and we hope that we will find a way to stop this. Because backsliding from democracy. Gone are the days when we had the Samuel Doe, Jerry Rawling, Yahaya Jameh, Abacha’s. Gone are those days.

“We have made significant progress in our drive to democracy so to see us going back to where we come from it is a shame and I hope that something will be done in a faster manner for us to correct the situation.

“It is a big test for Nigeria and the leadership of the Chairmanship of President Tinubu and we are hoping that there will be some drastic measures to correct this situation in our region.

“This time around, ECOWAS will not be a sleeping bulldog. I believe in the leadership of President Tinubu and I am sure he will make a difference,” Snowe said.

Snowe however noted that for every successful coup with a loss of a member state, it undermines the work of ECOWAS bodies and institutions, reiterating that the leadership of ECOWAS will stand firm protecting the region’s democracy.

News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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