The ECOWAS Commission and Political Officers/Military Advisors of the Diplomatic Corps have resolved to continue to promote inclusive and peaceful transitional process in West Africa.
This came to the fore during the briefing of the Political officers/Military Advisors of the Diplomatic Corps by the Mediation and Coordination of Political Affairs Division of the Political Affairs Peace and Security Department on the 24th of November 2022 in Abuja, Nigeria.
In his welcome address during the briefing, the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Political Affairs Peace and Security (CPAPS) Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musah maintained that given the dynamics of political and socio-economic situation in the region, ECOWAS would continue its avowed role of accompanying its Member States on their democratic, peace and stability processes.
Stressing the importance of the facilitating role of the ECOWAS mediators to countries, under-going various forms of transition processes, Dr. Musah, noted that the current mechanisms of mediation and intervention should be periodically reviewed to accommodate best practices and ensure that a lot more is done beyond kinetic interventions by constituted authorities. territories He also stressed on the need to operationalize the regional Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) within the next two years and bring civil actors in the region to the dialogue table..
The lead presentation of the briefing was made by the Director, Centre for Democracy and Development Dr. Idayat Hassan who expounded the various dimensions of the topic: Promoting an inclusive and peaceful transitional process in West Africa: The role of civil society in the transitional processes.
She identified two converging trends-Insecurity and contested elections as well as the underlying desire by some incumbent leaders to manipulate the democratic processes through non-inclusive constitutional changes.
Going forward and to stem the increasing threat of a relapse of dictatorial tendencies, she recommended among others, a critical look at the role of information disorder (mostly emanating from digital technology), disinformation, proliferation of actors and techniques as well as home grown solutions while ensuring that responses are driven by community actors and institutions.
The briefing which had an array of political officers and military advisors from the diplomatic corps in Abuja, featured robust exchanges of ideas and analysis, of the socio-political environment in the region also received goodwill messages from Mr. Thomas Kieler, the representative of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, who pledged the continuous support of the EU to the ECOWAS political intervention processes.
The bi-annual briefing, which is the second for 2022, serves as a structured platform, for interface and exchange of ideas on peace and security issues, between the ECOWAS Commission and the diplomatic community in Abuja.