‘ECOWAS Must Bridge North-South Gap’

hannah-tettehThe Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)  has been asked to bridge the development gap between the Southern and Northern part of member states

A high level meeting of ECOWAS Commission at Akosombo on Thursday attributed the source of most conflicts in the West African  sub-region to the economic disparity  between the northern and southern sectors.

The three day meeting which was held to review the intervention of ECOWAS in the Malian crisis deliberated on the achievements, challenges and proposals to address future conflicts in the region.

Participants included security experts, the academician, representatives of the African Union, European Union, civil society organizations and other stake holders in the sub-region.

A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting and read by Professor Amadu Sesscuy, facilitator of the event, said there was the need to link conflict resolution to infrastructure development.

He said The definitive resolution of the Tuarey Question through enhanced and committed decentralization holds the key to lasting peace in Mali”.

He said there was also the needed to engage of members states political systems towards nurturing, strengthening and democratizing governance institutions and political parties.

Prof Sessary said ECOWAS needs to adopt a more proactive stance towards democracy and governance even in peaceful member states.

He tasked ECOWAS to lead processes in the space of its primary responsibility such that military interventions should be based on predicated strategic guidelines.

Prof. Sessay called for a review of doctrine, logistic concept and standard operating procedures to ensure more effective planning and execution of missions.

He also noted that ECOWAS needed to fund and equip a proper stand-by special military force capable of intervening anywhere in the region within thirty days of a complex emergency situation requiring immediate response. By Lawrence Markwei

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