Home NewsLiberia ECOWAS Commission Committee on Defense Recommends…

ECOWAS Commission Committee on Defense Recommends…

by Varflay Kamara

MONROVIA, LIBERIA-The ECOWAS Commission Committee on Defense has recommended a five thousand-man brigade to be deployed in stages to combat terrorism and restore constitutional order in countries led by military juntas.

The recommendation was made under the Committee of Chiefs of Defense Staff of the ECOWAS Commission at an Extraordinary Meeting of Ministers of Defense and Ministers of Finance on June 27, 2024, in Abuja, Nigeria.

It followed the conclusion of from the March 2023 meeting in Bissau, Guinea Bissau.

According to a release from ECOWAS, the Defense Ministers emphasized the coordination of operational initiatives and urgent mobilization of capabilities.

They also adopted the report with amendments, forming a small team to reform the proposal within one month and accelerate resource mobilization.

The ECOWAS Commissioner, Omar Alieu Touray, in his welcome remarks, emphasized the urgency of mobilization of internal resources to support the regional terrorism force, following directives from the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.

Dr. Touray highlighted the worsening security situation in the region, particularly in the Sahel, and the need for collective efforts to combat terrorism.

The ECOWAS Commissioner called for a phased approach, starting with a 1,500-man brigade and the establishment of an ECOWAS Force Command Post.

At the same time, the Regional Bloc, ECOWAS, has advanced the need for Liberia to begin using the ECOWAS National Biometric  Identity Card.

The Card was adopted by the Authority of Heads of State and Government in 2014, and it would be the official travel document to replace the handwritten ECOWAS Travel Certificate if the decision comes into effect.

The release said that the ECOWAS Commission, through the Directive of the Free Movement of Persons and Migration, embarked on an advocacy and sensitization campaign in Member States to popularize the ENBIC.

In Liberia, the Team headed by the Director of Free Movement of Persons and Migration, Albert Siaw-Boateng, visited the National Identification Authority, recently.

Mr. Siaw-Boateng said:” The ENBIC is currently deployed in six ECOWAS Member States, including Benin, Ghana, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, the Gambia, and Sierra Leone, and Liberia is being urged to recognize the cards issued by those countries.”

Responding, the National Identification Registry Executive Director, Andrew Peters, and the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) Commissioner, Steve Zargo, on behalf of the Liberian Government, expressed their willingness to accept the ENBIC from other Member States.

Commissioner Zargo expressed readiness to collaborate with other ECOWAS Member States for successful implementation, while Mr. Peters cited financial constraints and lack of citizens’ demand as obstacles to the card’s use.

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