CSOs task ECOWAS to stop autonomous killer robots

A coalition of 130 civil society organisations from 60 countries across the world, has called for the involvement of all ECOWAS countries in the world and other relevant stakeholders in the campaign to stop the use of autonomous weapon killer robots.

The CSOs under the platform of Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, called for full support of stakeholders towards the political declaration for all countries in the world, that have signed into the treaty calling for a ban on the use of killer robots.

The autonomous weapon killer robots is capable of wrecking mass destruction on humans regardless of age, gender and other considerations, without human intervention.

The campaign is headed by a steering Committee with Human Rights Watch as the Coordinator and Amnesty International among others as members.

Arising from a one-day round table meeting on the campaign to stop Killer ECOWAS States, on Tuesday in Abuja, the group in a communique jointly signed by members said, now is the time to act, to save the world from the danger ahead.

The round table meeting which had Representatives of ECOWAS member countries, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence, media and civil society organizations in attendance, aimed at sharing knowledge and evidence on the distinctive pattern of harm caused to humans by the use of killer robots, and to explore urgent steps to address this harm at a political, administrative and operational levels.

It was also to build awareness among ECOWAS member States and all relevant stakeholders; to solicit support towards the operational and political commitment to the campaign to stop killer robots.

So far, 30 countries among which are Ghana, Namibia, Jordan, Morocco, Australia, Uganda, Colombia are calling for prohibition of fully autonomous weapon to retain meaningful human control on use of force.

Nigeria is not among the countries calling for the ban. Although China has supported the ban on the use of the killer robots, it said it will not stop the production.

However, world powers such as United States, France, Israel, Korea, United Kingdom, Russia, Turkey have totally kicked against banning the ban on killer robots.

According to the joint communique, signed by Mimido AchakpaI, ANSA Women Network Nigeria, Amb. Caroline Usikped, Noble Delta Women for Peace & Development, Ibrahim Sule, Women Rights to Education Programme (WREP),Tim Aniebonam, Global Agenda for Total Emancipation (GATE), representatives and participants at the round table unanimously “expressed concern that fully autonomous weapons, also known as“Killer Robots” would be able to select and engage targets without human intervention and can cause deaths, injuries and traumas to human victims.

It is also capable of damaging and destroying “essential infrastructure and critical services, drive forced displacement, pose a threat in the long term,disrupt socio-economic activities and potentially compromise human security,” the communique stated.

In view of the grievious danger killer robts portend to humans, the communique stated that participants have resolved that a machine should never be allowed to make the decision over life and death.