The Mediation and Security Council (MSC) at the ministerial level of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), started its 49th meeting on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 in Abuja, Nigeria, to discuss ways and means of improving the security situation in the region.
The ministerial meeting will consider the report of the 37th Mediation and Security Council at ambassadorial level as well as several memoranda approved by representatives of Member States to ECOWAS. Apart from peace and security matters, the ministers will also assess the state of play on the establishment of national early warning centers and the regional human rights situation.).
Taking the floor during the opening of the session of the Mediation and Security Council, His Excellency Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission, stated that the regional security and humanitarian situation are today the greatest challenge to peace as well as economic, social and human advancement in West Africa… “Members of the Mediation and Security Council are urged to recommend additional measures and creative strategies to operationalise the 2020/2024 ECOWAS Plan of Action against terrorism, as well as intensify efforts on the mobilisation of internal and external resources; provide the necessary logistics and equipment to strengthen the operational capacity of the ECOWAS Standby Force, while taking a critical look at the option of its deployment to volatile areas to help fight terrorist groups,” he stated.
In his welcome address, Major-General Bashir Magashi (Rtd), Minister of Defence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria enjoined Member States to be resilient in the fight against ongoing terrorist threats and support the 2020-2024 ECOWAS Regional Action Plan against terrorism. He also expressed the hope that the text, which aimed at combating unconstitutional changes of government in the region would be adopted by the Ministers.
In her opening address, Hon. Suzi Carla Barbosa, Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Communities of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau and Chairperson of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, stated that the region is beset with terrorism, insecurity, violent extremism and coups.
Hon. Suzi Carla Barbosa commended ECOWAS peace and security initiatives but reiterated the need for more efforts or initiatives and the political will to maintain lasting peace, regional stability and fight against the impact of climate change and food insecurity.
At the end of the meeting, the report of the Mediation and Security Council will be presented to the forthcoming summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government to be held in Abuja.