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ECOWAS weighs options for anti-terrorism force, annual needs could reach $2.6bn

Monday, 01 July 2024 15:18
ECOWAS weighs options for anti-terrorism force, annual needs could reach $2.6bn

(Ecofin Agency) - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is assessing options to establish a regional anti-terrorism force. Two options are in the pipeline: one that requires $2.6 billion a year for a brigade of 5,000 troops and the other, $481 million a year for a force of 1,500 soldiers.

Following a recent meeting of defense and finance ministers in Abuja, Nigeria, on June 27, Nigerian Defense Minister Mohammed Badaru Abubakar mentioned that “these figures underscore the gravity of the task ahead of us”. "It is therefore imperative that we critically review the options considering the current challenges confronting our region and the financial concerns facing our various member states," he added, stressing that each member state would be expected to contribute their share.

Reuters reported that Minister Abubakar clarified the regional force's mandate, stating it would focus solely on counterterrorism efforts and not intervene in recent coups in member states like Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali, which are currently suspended from ECOWAS.

In an official statement issued on June 30, ECOWAS clarified that the ministerial meeting aimed to explore financing options to activate a regional force specifically targeting terrorism and restoring constitutional order.

ECOWAS Commission President Omar Alieu Touray emphasized that suspended member states would not be excluded from participating in the regional force. He stressed the necessity of collective action against terrorism, urging all 15 member states to actively engage in crucial security discussions.

These statements reflect ongoing disagreements among ECOWAS member states regarding the mandate of the regional force and the challenges in its establishment process.




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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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