The newly appointed High-Level Official in the fight against Terrorism of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Alhaji Baba Kamara, has ended a working visit to the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, Nigeria, ahead of a review of the ECOWAS Counter Terrorism Strategy and Action plan.
The review and implementation of the strategy and action plan seeks to effectively address transnational security and terrorism threats that face the West African region.
The three-day visit, which was characterised by interactions withrelevant agencies and departments of the Commission, enabled the Special Envoy to apprise himself of interventions to curbterrorism threats in the region.
During familiarisation visit, Baba Kamara, who is a former High Commissioner of Ghana to Nigeria, met with the President of the ECOWAS Commission, DrOmar Alieu Touray, who lauded the Special Envoy’s appointment, citing his immense experience in regional security affairs.
Dr Toure believed that Baba Kamara, who is also a former National Security Advisor of Ghana, would provide impetus to lead the review of the ECOWAS Counter Terrorism Strategy and the implementation of the Plan of Action.
He assured the Special Envoy of the full support of the Commission, particularly from the relevant departments comprising the Early Warning, Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), as well as the Directorate of Humanitarian and Social Affairs.
Recognising the importance of these departments as the forefront agencies in shaping policies and programmes in the fight against the terrorism menace, Baba Kamara held working sessions with their respective heads and staff in order to gain insight into their operations and understand their present challenges.
In this regard, the High-Level Official was briefed by Damtien L. Tchintchibidja, head of Early Warning Department, Dr Abdel-Fatau Musah, Commissioner, PAPS, and Prof. Fatou Sow Sarr, Commissioner, Humanitarian and Social Affairs.
Alhaji Baba Kamara, for his part,assured the leadership of ECOWAS that he would do his utmost best to work with the various departments to enhance strategies against terrorism in West Africa.
The Special Envoy bemoaned the devastating effects of terrorism and violent extremism on the region, and called on all member states to join the fight, while addressing the underlying factors that create such situations.
He indicated his plans to visit affected countries,such of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger,to determine what effective actions can be taken by ECOWAS and its stakeholders to counter further threats from terrorist groups in those countries.
He was accompanied by Mr Inusah Ziblim, Expert on Terrorism and Minister/Consular Affairs at the Ghana High Commission in Abuja, and Mr Thomas Kpegah, Deputy Director and Senior Analyst at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.