ECOWAS Members Meet To Deliberate On Proliferation Of Small Arms

ecowasThe Chairpersons of National Commissions on Small Arms of ECOWAS Member States met in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, to deliberate and come up with dynamic approach towards the elimination of the illicit flow of Small Arms among member states.

Declaring the 3-day workshop open, Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Professor Evara Esu, maintained that the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) among ECOWAS States have created a dangerous global situation in terms of rapid development.

According to him, the Nigerian government, through the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons, should be committed to ensuring that it collectively dismantles the template from which the problems of insecurity are drawing support.

He averred that it is more noteworthy for political and diplomatic means to be used to resolve conflict and efforts stepped up for peacekeeping, so as to stop the illicit trade at the root.

The Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the ECOWAS Commission, Salamatu Suleiman, believes Small Arms Proliferation still remains a challenge as demonstrated in the Sahel and in Northern Nigeria through the activities of terrorists and illegal armed groups.

Suleiman sued for the government’s support towards ensuring adequate security at the borders, which according to her, presently allows easy accessibility of dangerous military style weapons to non-state actors.

ECOWAS set to deploy troops to Mali and Guinea Bissau

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says it will meet the 45-day deadline set by the UN Security Council for the final adoption of the modalities on the deployment of troops to Mali in line with resolutions 2056 and 2071 of the Security Council of the United Nations.

This formed the discussion at an extra ordinary meeting of foreign and defence ministers of member countries.

ECOWAS Commission President, Mr. Kadre Desire Ouedraogo said there is need for a twin approach to the Mali crisis, combining dialogue with military pressure to help Mali dismantle terrorist networks and regain her territorial integrity.

The meeting became crucial as the sub-region finalises plan on the adoption of the United Nation Security Council resolution on Mali and Guinea Bissau.

The resolution will allow for international military intervention in Mali following the capture of the northern part of the country by different armed groups.

Ouedrago observed the urgent need to halt the mafia and criminal practices of terrorist groups and the atrocities committed with impunity by the extremists.

The meeting, he says, will address the concepts of operations for clearly defining the stages of the operating procedures and methods for the planned deployment.

Lending her voice to that of the president of the commission, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Missus Salamatu Suleiman explains issues that will be considered at the meeting.

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed warned that tackling the crisis in Mali and other parts of the West African sub-region is no longer an option but a necessity.

The recommendation of the council will be presented to the extraordinary summit of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on Sunday to give additional guidelines regarding the resolution of the crisis for onward transmission to the African Union which will also transmit to the United Nation.