AU, ECOWAS synergise to mitigate security challenges 

The African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have forged a unified regional approach to mitigate evolving security challenges across the continent.

The 15-nation bloc ECOWAS, formed in 1975 to promote economic integration in member states, has struggled in recent years to reverse a wave of military takeovers in the region, just as the exit of three countries from the community threatened the African Continental Free Trade Area aimed at accelerating intra-African trade and boosting the continent’s trading position in the global market.

Blueprint reports that Nigeria, Wednesday, hosted the inugural joint consultative meeting between the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) and the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council (MSC) at the ambassadorial level in pursuit of cohesive and comprehensive approach to regional peace and stability.

In his welcome address, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to ECOWAS and the co-chair of the meeting, Ambassador Musa Sani Nuhu, stated that: “This gathering signifies a key turning point in our collective pursuit of peace and prosperity for the entire African continent.”

He said: “For long, the African continent has struggled with security challenges that have brought untold hardship to our people.

“The establishment of the ECOWAS MSC to take decisive actions on issues of peace and security within West Africa, as enshrined in Article 10 of the 1999 ECOWAS Protocol on the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace-Keeping and Security, stands as a testament to our proactive response to these threats.”

“Since its inception, the ECOWAS MSC at the Ministerial and Ambassadorial level has played a critical role in addressing security challenges, through mediation missions, peacekeeping operations, and counter-terrorism efforts, which were endorsed by the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.”