Thursday, May 29, 2014 7:46 pm
By Shu’aibu Adamu
Addis Ababa – The West African regional body, ECOWAS Commission, said it had evolved adequate mechanisms to tackle the activities of terrorists and insurgents to restore peace in the sub-region.
It made the announcement while celebrating the 39th anniversary of the ECOWAS Day on Thursday at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The commission’s Vice President, Dr Toga Mcintosh, told a news conference after the ceremony that ECOWAS had continued to play it’s role in the effort to ensure peace and enhance development in the region.
He said efforts were being made, through collaboration with the Nigerian government and other ECOWAS member states, to stamp out the activities of insurgents that led to killing of thousands of civilians and the abduction of over 200 school girls in the country.
He said the commission was committed to doing everything possible to combat terrorism and violence as it was hindering the development of the region.
He expressed solidarity with the government and people of Nigeria during the difficult time
Macintosh extended condolences to the families of the victims and sympathies to the families of the abducted Chibok school girls.
He said the regional body had sustained effort to address the movement of small arms and light weapons across the 15-member countries and effort to curtail the menace of sea piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
The official said ECOWAS had recorded several successes within the 39 years of its existence, but acknowledged that there was still a lot to be done to achieve the objectives of its founding fathers.
He said significant progress had been made in building a common market, with the adoption of the Common External Tariff, revitalisation of the monetary cooperation programme and the progress made in infrastructure and energy.
The commission said effort had also been advanced in institutional reforms, in addition to the enlargement of ECOWAS from nine to 15 members, the appointment of new commissioners and a financial controller.
“The Court of Justice has been renewed, with new judges to assume office soon, while we are making efforts to strengthen the powers of the ECOWAS Parliament,” he said.