By Maimuna Sey-Jawo
Stakeholders from 9 different countries namely; The Gambia, Cote d’ivoire, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Mali, and Benni have recently completed a two-day regional conference on developing infrastructure for peace in ECOWAS Member States, held at a local hotel in Senegambia.
During the forum participants were taken through different topics like developing and sustaining national peace infrastructure, the role of governments, civil society organisations and external partners.
In his opening address, the National Security Adviser Momodou Badjie expressed gratitude to the ECOWAS member states for choosing Gambia as the centre to host this event.
He said national legal and policy framework can be challenged by a number of unforeseen challenges.
“For us in The Gambia, the latter is our experience and therefore, we are in the process of rebuilding and strengthening our national political and security, thus the workshop fits perfectly within our pending national security sector reform programme,” he stated.
Mr. Badjie said the forum is an opportunity to learn from the countries represented who have either advanced in developing their peace building processes or struggling to do the same.
Badjie concluded by saying the development of national infrastructure for peace is a careful elaborate process and so experience from any stage of the process will be appreciated.
For his part Ebenezer Ofosu Asiedu, representative from ECOWAS expressed delight to the Government of the Gambia under the leadership of President Adama Borrow for allowing them to conduct this forum in the country.
He called on the ECOWAS member states to work together to safeguard and consolidate relations conducive to the maintenance of peace, stability and security within the regions.
“Co-operation with the community in establishing and strengthening appropriate and resolution of intra-state and inter-state conflicts and to employ where appropriate good offices, conciliation, mediation among others,” ECOWAS representative stated.
According to him ECOWAS indeed has a rich history of preventive diplomacy and mediation in the region, beginning with the coordinated efforts in responding to the civil wars, as well as other political conflicts that broke out in member states such as Liberia (1989-2003), Mali (2012), Gambia (2016 December) among others.