The heads of ECOWAS have announced a $1 billion bid to fight against the imminent threat posed by Islamist Terrorist Organizations in the region.
The pledge was announced on Saturday at the end of the recent ECOWAS summit in the Burkina capital, Ouagadougou by Niger president Mahamadou Issoufou, who is the head of the regional ECOWAS bloc .
“With regards to financing ECOWAS decided to contribute 1 billion dollars to the financing of the joint forces and to the reinforcement of the operational capabilities and of state intelligence”, He said.
The pledge is due to come to effect between 2020 to 2024. ECOWAS decided to contribute 1 billion dollars to the financing of the joint forces.
Groups with links to Al Qaeda and Islamic State have strengthened their foothold across the arid Sahel region this year, making large swathes of territory ungovernable and stoking local ethnic violence, especially in Mali and Burkina Faso.
The fifteen members of the West African bloc and the presidents of Mauritania and Chad had gathered for an extraordinary summit in Burkina Faso’s capital to address the growing insecurity.
“It is the international Community which is the cause of the Libyan crisis. The Libyan crisis of which we are suffering the consequences in the Sahel region as well as in the Lac Chad. So now is not the time to divert our gaze away from the Sahel and the Lake Chad,” Issoufou added.
In July, the U.N. said Islamist attacks were spreading so fast in West Africa that the region should consider bolstering its response beyond current military efforts.
After the summit, ECOWAS president Mr Issoufou faced the press and said the Sahel region and Lake Chad expected a bigger contribution in the fight against radical Islamists from the international community which according to him caused the Libyan crisis that was putting pressure on the region.