US assistance for ECOWAS

Lagos- Nigeria (PANA) -- The US has certified ECOWAS as the only Organisation within the West African sub-region qualified for direct assistance as part of the collaboration between Washington and the 15-nation Community.
An ECOWAS statement Friday quoted US Ambassador to Nigeria, Howard Jeter, as making the disclosure during talks between a six-member US delegation and officials of the Organisation at its Abuja Secretariat Wednesday.
The delegation discussed areas of co-operation with ECOWAS, particularly on military and political matters.
According to the statement, the US-ECOWAS collaboration will focus on defence, regional capacity building, promoting military professionalism and ensuring the subordination of the military to civil authority.
It also covers security, demining, communications, crisis management, combined training of ECOWAS Military Standby Units and humanitarian issues.
Already, US military personnel are involved in the phased training of seven battalions of troops from Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal under Operation Focus Relief, aimed at enhancing the capacity of the troops in peacekeeping operations.
The ECOWAS Executive Secretary Lansana Kouyate thanked the US for its support for the various initiatives of the sub-region.

15 june 2001 20:10:00

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