Defense Authorities Plead With ECOWAS

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The Deputy Minister of Defense for Operations of Liberia, Honorable Jerome Larbelle, has urged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to continue its support towards the electoral process in Liberia.

According to a release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja, the Liberian Deputy Defense Minister made the assertion during the 39th Ordinary Meeting of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council (MSC) at the Ministerial Level that held on December 12, 2017.

The MSC is part of series of the annual end-of-year Statutory Meetings of ECOWAS that are taking place in Abuja, Nigeria. The meetings come on the heels of this weekend’s 52nd Ordinary Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government.

According to the release, the Deputy Minister of Defense represented the Liberian side at the MSC, where security issues and the creation of a more stable region dominated the discussions.

The release adds that the Liberian Deputy Defense Minister noted that the return of ECOWAS’ team to help the country’s National Elections Commission (NEC) with the Final Registration Roll (FRR) will help maintain the peace and security in Liberia.

He asserted that peace in Liberia means peace in the sub-region.

Earlier, the President of the ECOWAS Commission Marcel de Souza, in his welcome remarks, talked about the sub regional body’s support for electoral activities in member States.

The President also noted other security concerns, including transhumance, farmers-pastoralists clashes as well as the scale of humanitarian situation. He however stressed that the Commission was on top of the situation.

Mr. Souza stressed the importance of adopting a comprehensive and all inclusive approach to an enduring security architecture in order to have a more stable region.

The ECOWAS Commission’s President who gave an overview and a situation report in Member States while briefing the ministers on the social and political developments in the regional community, cited some Member States where terrorism, violent extremism and inter-communal conflict continue to be major threats to peace and security. These countries include Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Mali, Niger and Nigeria.

At the same time, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration of Togo and Chair of the MSC, Professor Robert Dussey, who declared the meeting opened, stressed the need to consolidate on the gains made so far by the Council.

According to him, it has become more imperative for all security issues with the potential of destabilizing the region to be treated with utmost care.

Among the issues considered by the Ministers were the Report of the 27th Meeting of the MSC at the Ambassadorial Level were memoranda on the political and security situation, and on the status of maritime security in the region.

The final report of the MSC would be forwarded to the ECOWAS Council of Ministers who meet on the heels of the MSC preparatory to the Summit of the Heads of state and Government on the 16th of December 2017.

The meetings continued on Wednesday and Thursday, December 13 to 14, 2017, with the 79th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers.

Liberia’s Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Finance and Development Planning, Honorable Marjon V. Kamara and Boimah Kamara, are representing Liberia at the event.

Earlier, the 22nd Meeting of the Administration and Finance Committee (AFC) and the 27th Ordinary Meeting of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council at the Ambassadorial Level previously preceded the MSC meeting.

The 52nd Ordinary Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government climaxes the meetings this weekend, the release concludes.