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Sunday, September 27, 2020

ECOWAS defence chiefs meet on Ebola, terrorism

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An Ecowas commission report on Monday in Abuja said the three-day meeting under the theme; “Strengthening Ecowas Military Cooperation for Peace, Stability and Development,” will hold discussions on terrorism and the Ebola epidemic which has put many countries to test in the Sub-region. 

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The statement added: “The meeting will also consider the status report on the Ecowas Standby Force as well as receive updates on the new Peace Support Operation Division, the operationalisation of the Maritime Model Zone E, the Defence and Security Sector Reform Programme in Guinea Bissau, and review the mandate of the Ecowas Mission in that country.”

According to the statement, the regional defence chiefs will among other issues, be briefed on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which the regional Mediation and Security Council discussed at its last meeting in March, characterised as a security threat to the region. The deadly disease has claimed more than 2,000 lives from the more than 3,000 cases reported in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal.

The Ecowas Commission statement also said the CCDS meeting would also receive an update on the security situation in Northern Nigeria, where the Boko Haram sect has been waging relentless deadly terrorist attacks and kidnappings.

This meeting comes at a time when Ecowas member states including The Gambia are ramping up efforts to address some of the biggest threats confronting the West African sub-region. In recent times, issues of terrorism and the Ebola Virus Disease have taken ugly trends often gaining much international focus in many of these countries. This time, though, it is expected that the sub-region’s security chiefs will discuss as well as gang up for recommendations needed to arrest such threats. 

Also during the Accra meeting, Cote d’Ivoire, which has chaired the CCDS for the past two years, will formally handover the mantle of leadership to Ghana, the current Chair of the Authority of Ecowas heads of state and government. 

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