Connect with us


ECOWAS Documents Over 3,500 Terrorist Attacks In Three Sahel Countries




By Stephen Asaba-ase

The Economic Community of West African States for the past few years have documented over 3,500 terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger Republic in 2023 that resulted to nearly 7,000 deaths.

According to a press briefing issued and signed by the Commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, ECOWAS Commission, Amb. Abdel-Fatau Musa on the 8th March 2024 at Abuja, said the regional blocs had formed a terrorism force to counteract the current regional security challenges.

The ECOWAS commission noted that almost 2,000 attacks were recorded in Burkina Faso, which is over 1,044 in Mali, and 500 in Niger Republic.

He stated further that “The whole geographical and demographic of West Africa is rich in human and natural resources. However, our environment is prone to danger.

“Especially the countries of the Sahel, only 2023 alone, over 3,500 terrorist attacks were documented.

“This includes 2,000 in Burkina Faso, over 1,044 in Mali, and 500 in Niger Republic. These incidents of attack have recorded not less than 7,000 casualties in the three Sahel countries, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

“A total of 4.8 million persons faced malnutrition, 2.4 million people were internally displaced and nearly 9,000 schools remain closed in the three Sahel countries.

“Burkina Faso has already taken over from Afghanistan.”

ECOWAS decried low trading capacity among member states.
The commissioner added that the creation of Counter Terrorism Force was overdue, affirming that the region will soon propose a modalities to bankroll the force.

“You would remember that during the passed ECOWAS meetings on terrorism, the Heads of States agreed that there was a need to create a counter-terrorism security force to help combat terrorism in the African continent.

This is presently underway. “Very soon, there will be a meeting of Ministers of Finance and Defence to work out the modalities of raising our own resources in the region to finance that counter-terrorism force,” he said.

“The 15-regional blocs under ECOWAS was formed in 1975 to facilitate economic integration in member states that have struggled to reverse a wave of military takeovers in the region, notably Mali in 2020 and 2021, Burkina Faso in 2022 and Niger Republic last year.

The exit of three Sahel countries from ECOWAS threatened the African Continental Free Trade, aimed at integrating, enhancing intra-African trade and boosting the continent’s trading position in the global market.

Earlier, ECOWAS imposed economic sanctions on the countries.

The sanctions were, however, lifted last week due to the timely intervention of Nigeria’s ex-military head of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon.

The President of the ECOWAS board, Omar Touray, said the decisions were taken in the interest of unity and security in the African sub-region.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *