Panafrican News Agency

ECOWAS leaders warned terrorists also targeting coastal states

Accra, Ghana (PANA) - The 61st ordinary session of the Economic Comminity of West African States (ECOWAS) opened in Accra on Sunday with a warning that terrorist attacks in the region are now not only focusing on the Sahel, but also expanding to the coastal states such as Togo, Benin and Cote d'Ivoire.

"These terrorist attacks are now not only focusing on the Sahel, but also expanding to the coastal states in our region, amidst the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the targeted countries,"the outgoing chairman of ECOWAS, Ghana's president Nana Addo Dankwa Adkufo-Addo, told his colleagues in his opening speech.

In light of this, he called for the need to implement the various security initiatives and maintain the stability of the region.

"It is imperative for us to continue to implement our regional action plan against terrorism and to coordinate our various security initiatives," he said.

"This will reinforce our collective response to this destabilising threat. Our determination in this end must be stronger than ever. Equally unshaken, must be our resolve to maintain the stability of our region and of its member states." 

He called for a one-minute silence in memory of the victims of the victims of terrorism in the region.

President Akufo-Addo also noted the extensive discussions on the political and social situation in the region, with emphasis on the current political transition in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso emanating from the military takeovers in those countries.

He said the heads of state decided to re-examine this matter during this ordinary session and remain committed to accompanying the three nations to return to normal constitutional democratic order.

President Akufo-Addo said the summit would hear from their various mediators to advise them on the latest development in these countries to enable them to take the appropriate decisions.

ECOWAS has suspended the three countries and slapped stiff economic and financial sanctions on Mali. ECOWAS has also imposed border closures on Mali.

President Akufo-Addo said following the failed coup d'etat in Guinea Bissau 609 security personnel have been deployed to support the stability of the country and President.

On the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic President Akufo-Addo noted that following the decrease in the number of new cases, many countries are relaxing restrictive measures taken at the beginning of the crisis.

"However," he warned, "we must continue to remain vigilant as COVID-19 is still around."

On the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war, he said this had led to a sharp increase in global prices, particularly on food and petroleum products.

"We are all victims of global inflationary pressures, which have exacerbated the food crisis in many parts of the region, indicated by the decline in production due to the impact of climate change.

"We can best tackle this by working to enhance the performance of our agricultural sector," President Akufo-Addo said.

-0- PANA MA 3July2022