Defence Chiefs spanning across various nations of the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS converged in Ghana for a two-day meeting. The meeting was scheduled to deliberate on means to curb insecurity and terrorism that have been ravaging the region as well as fostering military prowess in the region.
At the meeting, it was stated that in the year 2022 alone, over 800 attacks by various jihadist groups have taken place already in the region.
Speaking at the meeting, Ghana’s minister of defence, Dominic Nitiwul also stated that the West African region of Africa has been traumatized by lots of crisis which sums up to about 5300 attacks and about 16000 deaths in a space of 3 years alone. The down side of it has increased the number of internally displaced people in almost all the West African countries.
Upon this finding, Nitiwul, called for a better monitoring of the jihadist groups by the military while applying intelligence.
According to Nitiwul, “The maintenance of peace and security in our various jurisdictions remain a critical challenge and as Chiefs of Defence Staff in your respective countries you have a pivotal role to play in shaping the defence and security policies needed to achieve regional peace and public safety.”
He went further to state that there is need for unity irrespective of differences such as social economic factors such as culture, language and nationality, in order to win the fight against insurgency.
Noteworthy attendees at the meeting were the representatives of the countries suspended and imposed with economic sanctions by ECOWAS – Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso. Their presence was said to have been needed due to the urgency to fight insurgency in the region as the effect of the insurgency caused by the jihadist, pirate, bandits and extremists spill over into the borders of neighbouring countries such as Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Benin Republic.
In line with the call for unity in fighting the common enemy, insecurity, Ghana’s minister of defence also stated that, there needs to be stipulated actions that would be a compass in fighting both maritime insecurity and extremism in the region.