Source: | Judith Petronil Kabore, Burkina Faso

The ECOWAS and G5 Sahel Summit on “Different Initiatives to Prevent and Combat Terrorism and Redefine Priority Areas of Intervention to Curb the Expansion of Terrorist Attacks in the Region”, closed in Ouagadougou September 14, 2019.

Under the Presidency of His Excellency, Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger, the West African community body intends to “prevent, detect and suppress terrorism in West Africa”, through a financing plan for one billion US dollars between 2020-2024.

To fight against the financing of terrorism, the member states decided: “to strengthen their national anti-terrorist financing policy and to improve the technical compliance and effectiveness of national anti-terrorist financing mechanisms”.

Image credit: Reuters

 For the member states, it is undeniable to strengthen the fight against organized cross-border crime: “in particular the trafficking of drugs, tobacco and fake drugs in order to dry up the financing capacities of terrorist groups”. The latter task falls to the Commission, which is to organize a meeting of security officers to review the implementation of the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan to Combat Illicit Drug Trafficking, organized crime and drug abuse “.

 The causes of security crises in the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin include violent extremism; intercommunity conflicts; transhumance and poverty. To cope, ECOWAS and G5 Sahel promote intercommunity dialogue; the appeased communication; strengthening traditional mechanisms for conflict prevention and resolution, etc.

To prevent violent extremism in the community space, conflict resolution mechanisms have been listed by the member states of the ECOWAS Authority. These include the promotion of communication and dialogue. To this end, Member States expressed their desire to “strongly involve religious and community leaders, women, youth, researchers and other relevant groups of civil society in the development and implementation of relevant programs of reconciliation, the fight against illiteracy and the promotion of peace education “. Thus it was agreed to “continue the creation of socio-educational infrastructures and to implement development programs, especially in the areas affected by the terrorist attacks”. To respond to this scourge, ECOWAS wants to “create vocational training structures and finance quick impact projects and job-creating activity programs”.

The mobilization of resources to finance the fight against terrorism, one billion US dollars announced, on the verge of the extraordinary summit of ECOWAS and G5 Sahel, must follow a pattern defined by the ECOWAS Commission. All measures will be submitted for adoption at the next regular session scheduled for 21 December 2019 in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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