Politics

Terrorism: Over 7,000 killed in 5 months throughout West Africa – Minister

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, has urged the Economic Community of West African States to unite in addressing the causes of insecurity within the area.

He famous that between January and May 2024, over 7,000 individuals have died in additional than 800 terrorist incidents throughout the area, with Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali being notably onerous hit.

Tuggar, who spoke on the opening of the 52nd session of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council in Abuja, on Wednesday, emphasised the necessity for collective motion towards terrorism and violent extremism, which threaten the soundness and growth of West Africa.

The minister, who can also be the chairperson of the council, careworn that the struggle towards terrorism should be a shared accountability, requiring unwavering dedication from all ECOWAS member states.

He stated, “Between January and May 2024, our area has witnessed over 7,000 deaths on account of greater than 800 terrorist incidents. Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali have been notably devastated by this relentless violence.

“This stark actuality highlights the staggering human value of insecurity and underscores the urgency for coordinated and decisive motion to fight this menace.

“Terrorism doesn’t recognise borders. From the Sahel to the coastal States, no nation is resistant to its devastating impression. It is due to this fact essential for each nation inside ECOWAS, together with these within the Sahelian belt, to know that the struggle towards terrorism isn’t the burden of some however a collective accountability.

“Therefore, we must remain united and demonstrate unwavering commitment and resolve to safeguard the lives and futures of our citizens.”

Tuggar known as for enhanced regional cooperation, efficient intelligence sharing, and strong funding for the ECOWAS counter-terrorism drive.

He additionally highlighted the significance of addressing underlying points reminiscent of local weather change, migration, organized crime, and financial inequality to construct a steady and affluent area.

“As we be a part of forces to search out frequent options to the persevering with problem of violent extremism and overseas interference, we also needs to stay aware of the broader problem of cooperation to assist deal with the underlying causes of instability in our area: local weather change, migration, organised legal exercise, international phrases of commerce and entry to financing.

“Our task today is to consider how best to meet the immediate symptoms of the condition we face and also how to establish firmer foundations to reduce inequality and poverty and strengthen democracy,” he added.

The minister famous ECOWAS’ ongoing peace help operations in nations like Guinea-Bissau and The Gambia and the plans for a stabilisation mission in Sierra Leone.

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Additionally, he highlighted efforts to deal with humanitarian challenges, together with catastrophe danger discount and offering reduction supplies to affected communities.

As the council deliberated on numerous proposals, Tuggar urged members to stay united and dedicated to the rules of peace, democracy, rule of legislation, and good governance.

“Let us also pledge to work tirelessly for the security and prosperity of our region, for the overall benefit of our people and the generations to come,” he concluded.

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, expressed concern over the continuing standoff with the Alliance of Sahelian States, emphasizing its detrimental impression on regional integration.

Touray highlighted persistent challenges in governance, growth deficits, and evolving geostrategic and geopolitical dynamics posing threats to regional cohesion and integration efforts.

“The continued standoff between the Alliance of Sahelian States and ECOWAS is preoccupying and undermines the integrity of the regional integration agenda.

“Against this backdrop, our region continues to face challenges of governance, development deficits, and the rapidly changing geostrategic and geopolitical enjoinment that threatens regional cohesion and the integration process,” he famous.

Widely thought to be West Africa’s foremost political and regional authority, the Economic Community of West African States, shaped in 1975 to foster financial integration amongst member states, has confronted challenges lately stemming from a sequence of army coups within the area.

These embody incidents in Mali in 2020 and 2021, Burkina Faso in 2022, and Niger prior to now yr.

Regrettably, three of those nations, which had beforehand thought of forming a counterforce, the Alliance of Sahel States, in response to ECOWAS following the overthrow of Niger’s democratically elected authorities, formally introduced their withdrawal from the organisation on January 28, 2024.

Currently, below army governance, these nations said in a joint declaration that they had been leaving ECOWAS on account of what they understand as a deviation from the founding beliefs of the organisation and pan-Africanism.

However, sanctions had been lifted in February 2024 following mediation by Nigeria’s former army head of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon.

Touray emphasised that the choices had been made within the curiosity of fostering unity and making certain safety inside the African sub-region.

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