AU, ECOWAS Discuss New Security Threats In Africa

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La Photo De Famille Avant La Cérémonie D Ouverture
La Photo De Famille Avant La Cérémonie D Ouverture

The African continent is currently facing the scourges of terrorism and violent extremism, as well as the resurgence of unconstitutional changes in government. These developments have adverse negative impacts on the peace, security, and stability of African communities.

These were comments made by Ambassador Jainaba Jagne, Permanent Representative of The Gambia to the African Union and Chairperson of the African Union Peace and Security Council for April 2024.

She was speaking on Wednesday 24 April 2024 in Abuja, Nigeria, during the 1st inaugural consultation meeting between the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union and the Mediation and Security Council (MSC) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at the ambassadorial level.

According to the Gambian diplomat, available data shows that the western part of the continent is the most affected by these scourges. “Four (4) of the six (6) AU Member States suspended for coups are West African countries. This has never happened in the history of the African Union and, I believe, in the history of ECOWAS too. According to the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism, the West African region is the most affected by the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism on the continent, particularly in terms of attacks, deaths, and injuries”, Ambassador Jainaba Jagne said.

Le Présidum De La Réunion
Le Présidum De La Réunion

She recalled the tireless efforts made by governments and regional and continental institutions, in particular the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), to promote and consolidate democracy. These efforts include the various normative instruments adopted by the African Union to address the security challenges facing the African continent and targeted sanctions against the perpetrators of coups.

In her words, the best response to these scourges is stronger cooperation between the PSC and the RECs to bolster efforts to tackle the security challenges posed by the spread of terrorism and violent extremism. “We must work together as one. Our strong common voice will strengthen our continental and regional efforts and prevent external interference. This will ensure that we take ownership of our peace agenda”, Jainaba Jagne emphasised.

She called for preventive diplomacy to forestall coups, terrorism, and violent extremism, as well as the development of joint strategies and actions for West African countries, and increased coordination, synergies, and regular commitments.

These were also the thoughts of Ambassador Musa Sani Nuhu, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to ECOWAS and Chairman of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council (MSC). “By aligning strategies and actions, this joint consultation will foster a better understanding of regional security dynamics, harmonise preventive diplomacy efforts and develop more effective conflict resolution strategies, thereby ensuring a more coherent and comprehensive approach to regional peace and stability”, he opined.

He urged participants to explore areas of cooperation, particularly concerted strategies to maintain zero tolerance for unconstitutional changes of government and effective measures to combat terrorism.

Ambassador Musa Sani Nuhu also called for discussions not only on resource mobilisation for regional and continental peace initiatives but also on increased synergies in such joint efforts.

Several issues were on the agenda for this inaugural meeting. These include unconstitutional changes of government and terrorism, as well as the mobilisation of internal resources to finance peace operations at regional and continental levels.

The participants will also discuss issues relating to greater synergy, coherence, coordination, and complementarity, as well as the contextualisation of cooperation between the African Union and ECOWAS in the areas of peace, governance, and security.

It should be noted that this 1st inaugural meeting between the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) and the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council (MSC) at the ambassadorial level is taking place 20 years after the creation of the PSC. “We intend to regularise these meetings with all the Regional Economic Communities in Africa and strengthen our relations by ensuring that we have regular and close consultations on peace and security issues,” Ambassador Jainaba Jagne urged.

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