ECOWAS armed forces chiefs meet to discuss fight against terrorism

FILE PHOTO: Flags of ECOWAS member countries. /Getty Images
FILE PHOTO: Flags of ECOWAS member countries. /Getty Images

A meeting of the heads of the armed forces of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) opened on Monday in Bissau, the capital of Guinea-Bissau, to discuss strategies to fight against terrorism and coups, Guinea-Bissau’s army chief announced in a statement to the press.

One of the expected results of the meeting is that it would present the modalities of action of the ECOWAS Alert Force in the fight against terrorism, the statement said.

The West African Community Alert Force can be used to combat terrorism and restore constitutional order in the region when it is threatened, the head of the Armed Forces of Guinea-Bissau, General Biague Na Ntan, also acting chairman of the ECOWAS Chiefs of Staff Committee, told reporters.

“It is necessary to take steps against terrorism and the security situation in the region has reached a level that requires the activation of the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) to fight terrorism,” ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Abdel-Fatau Musah explained.

The meeting of ECOWAS member countries’ army chiefs came after a series of meetings of heads of military operations, as well as heads of intelligence services.

ECOWAS groups Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.