By: Fiona Freddy
ABUJA: Twenty four hours after eighty six persons were brutally murdered in Jos, the Head of Regional Cooperation , European Union Delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Stefania Marrone, has said the menace of terrorism in some parts of West Africa and the Sahel has continued to threaten peace and security despite the satisfactory progress in democracy.
She said this in Abuja at a workshop organized by the ECOWAS Commission for journalists drawn from the fifteen member states of the ECOWAS.
The programme, themed “role of the media in promoting peace and security in the ECOWAS region”, was to help disseminate information about ECOWAS peace and security mandate, as well as actions and programmes in Member States through national, public and private media.
She said, ” while there has been, in recent times, satisfactory progress in democracy in West Africa, with successful elections as well as The Gambia, peace and security in West Africa continues to be confronted with very serious threats including radicalization leading to terrorism, instability and insurgency in the Sahel as well as here in Nigeria with the menace of Boko Haram”.
“Climate change and its resultant effects has further heightened farmer- herder conflicts, insecurity in the maritime sector endangering piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, trafficking and migration are also on the front burner”, She added.
Marrone however underscored the importance of solidarity among international partners in addressing the root causes of threats to peace in the region.
She said the EU’s 27 million euros Peace, Security and Stability project aims to support ECOWAS by enabling it to execute its conflict prevention and resolution mandate in a sustainable and proactive way.
In his Speech, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Gen. Francis Behanzin, stressed the role of the media in promoting peace and security agenda of the commission.
Behanzin, who was represented by its Director of Political Affairs, Dr Aderemi Ajibewa, said little is known about the commission’s efforts in addressing the security challenges facing the sub-region.
“The workshop provides West African journalists appropriate information on peace and security efforts of the ECOWAS Commission to enable them to be better informed and engaged with ECOWAS citizens and thereby effectively promote and security in the region, he said.