ECOWAS: We are Winning War on Maritime Insecurity

Michael Olugbode

The President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Jean-Claude Brou has said the war against maritime insecurity was being won in the West African sub-region.

Brou who said the attestation to this was the removal of Nigeria from the piracy list hotspot, noted that strategies were in place to equally win the war on terrorism

Brou said this while delivering reports of the ECOWAS Commission before the ECOWAS Parliament during the ongoing 2022 First Ordinary Session of the Parliament in Abuja.

He also argued that the victory against maritime insecurity could also be seen with the decreasing rate of attack in the Gulf of Guinea following actions by member countries.

He said: “A year ago, I told you that the maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea was extremely disturbing and globally we were the zone having the largest number of maritime piracy attacks.

“Actions have been carried by the countries individually but also at the level of regional coordination.”

He noted that the situation had reduced slightly to the point that Nigeria has come out of the list of countries having a high level of maritime piracy, adding that: “We will continue to work at regional level with the inauguration of our Regional Coordination Centres for Maritime Security that has been set up in the various zones.”

He said all together they were working actively particularly in zone F in Cape Verde.

Brou insisted that implementation of a Regional Action Plan remained high level priority and resource mobilisation remained key. He, however, expressed concerns over the spate of terrorism in some countries which has led to humanitarian crises in the affected countries.

The ECOWAS Commission’s President said just like how maritime insecurity was addressed, early warning mechanisms among other initiatives would be emplaced to tackle the menace of terrorism.

He said: “Obviously, the fight against terrorism is a priority and it is being implemented.

“It comes to strengthen the various actions carried out in the various countries above all it comes to fight insecurity.

“We have the Accra initiative, the G5 initiative, the Sahel initiative. The security situation as well as the food production crises create an unprecedent humanitarian rises in the region.

“In 2021, the number of Internally Displaced Persons in the region went from 4.4 million to 5.5 million, so there is a large increase in the numbers of IDPs.

“So this shows the extent of the crises facing our region because of the double burden of security and food production.

“We continue to deploy our early warnings centers. Eight have been installed out of 15 and we hope to set up the remaining seven at the end of this year,” Brou said.

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