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Nigeria calls for unified response to security challenges in Africa

Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to ECOWAS, Ambassador Musa Nuhu, has called for a unified response to the security threats in Africa. Amb Nuhu, who is the…

Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to ECOWAS, Ambassador Musa Nuhu, has called for a unified response to the security threats in Africa.
Amb Nuhu, who is the Chair, ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council, said this in his welcome remarks at the joint consultation meeting between the African Union (AU)’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) and the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council (MSC) at the ambassadorial level on Wednesday in Abuja.
“The security landscape in Africa is a dynamic one, constantly presenting new complex threats. From terrorism and violent extremism to unconstitutional changes of government, these challenges demand a unified response that goes beyond our national boundaries and requires collective’ efforts.
“Therefore, these joint consultative engagements between the AU and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) serve as an important platform for forging such a collective response to mitigate these challenges, in tandem with the tenets of Article 16 of the PSC Protocol, to harmonize the activities of Regional mechanisms towards promoting peace, security and stability in Africa.
“Specifically, the nexus between the missions of the AU PSC and ECOWAS MSC is highly fundamental, as it underscores the interconnectedness of peace and security efforts at both the continental and regional levels.
“By aligning strategies and actions, this joint consultation can foster a deeper understanding of regional security dynamics, harmonize efforts aimed at preventive diplomacy and develop more effective conflict resolution strategies, thereby ensuring a more cohesive and comprehensive approach to regional peace and stability,” he said.
Ambassador Nuhu advised that the AU-REC’s dialogue to go beyond discussions on only Political Affairs, Peace and Security, saying it “should involve discussions on economic development, humanitarian intervention, social cohesion as well as infrastructural development which are the building blocks for good governance that would guarantee a peaceful and stable Africa.”
‘ECOWAS countries most hit’
Meanwhile, the African Union (AU), has raised the alarm that terrorist groups, violent extremists and coup plotters are gaining prominence in West Africa.
Amb. Jainaba Jagne, Permanent Representative of The Gambia to the AU and Chairperson of the Peace and Security Council, disclosed this while speaking at the event.
Amb. Jagne, who is a co-chair of the event, said: “Our continent is currently faced with the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism and the resurgence of unconstitutional changes of government which has serious negative consequences for peace, security and stability in our communities.
“Unfortunately, data shows that the western part of the continent is the most affected by both issues. Four out of the six AU member states suspended due to coup d’etat are from West Africa. This has never happened in the history of African Union.
“According to the African Center for the Study of research on terrorism, the West African region is the most affected by the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism on the continent in terms of attacks, deaths and casualties,” she said.
While lamenting that these events were happening despite significant efforts made over the years by governments and the continental and regional institutions to promote and consolidate democracy, the ambassador called for a collaborative effort to reverse the unfortunate trend.
“This meeting will be an opportunity for two councils to brainstorm on the effective means and ways of preventing and responding to the recurrences of Unconstitutional Change of Government (UCG).
“We must find alternate options and tools to effectively address the crises and challenges that beset our continent. It is also very important and a very good occasion to further reflect on the proliferation of terrorist groups that threaten peace, security and development, as well as the territorial integrity of the member states directly affected by these unfortunate events,” she added.