ECOWAS Needs to Be Kept Intact to Fight Terrorism, Kofi Annan Institute Suggests

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

The Commandant, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Maj.-Gen. Richard Gyane, has said should dissatisfied members of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) be allowed to exit the economic bloc, the growing terrorism in the subregion might become more difficult to manage.

He also said the threat of terrorism has made it imperative to build the capacity of women and youth to tackle the menace in the subregion

Gyane raised the alarm at the opening ceremony of a Mobile Training course on Women, Youth, and Violent Extremism and Terrorism, organised by KAIPTC in collaboration with the Norwegian Government, yesterday, in Abuja.

According to Gyane, the training aims at building the capacities of women and youth in Nigeria to be more resilient against the threat of Violent Extremism and Terrorism (VET).

Explaining that ECOWAS has done remarkably well in tackling the threat of terrorist group, Gyane insisted that to squarely deal with the threats of extremists and terrorists, a multi-faceted approach was needed with everyone contributing in the mix.

He, however, said it would be more difficult to tackle terrorism should the Sahel state allowed to exit ECOWAS since terrorism groups were more pronounce in the Sahelian states.

He claimed they would have easy passage into other parts of the subregion as collaboration to wage war against them would be severely affected.

He explained that heavy-handed tactics by security forces have sown distrust among and within local communities in some countries, making women and youth more vulnerable to exploitation and recruitment by terrorists.

The commandant said terrorist groups exploited latent ethnic animosities, mistrust of security forces, and the absence of state presence in certain parts of the littoral countries to enhance their agenda.

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