Despite the significant efforts made by the ECOWAS Member States, particularly those on the frontline, terrorist attacks doubled between 2020 and the first five months of 2021.
Dr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, the president of the ECOWAS Commission, said over that period, there had already been more than 700 attacks and more than 2,000 civilian and military deaths, with an increase in the number of displaced persons.
He said those attacks occurred largely in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Nigeria, spreading to other coastal countries.
Dr Brou said this in his address at the 59th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Accra.
The Session was formally opened by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.
It is was attended by all ECOWAS Member States, with the exception of Mali, due to a military coup d’etat in that country.
Dr Brou said the implementation of the Regional Plan of Action to Combat Terrorism, which ECOWAS leaders adopted in September 2019, had commenced and should complement the significant efforts made by each Member State.
“It would be appreciated if the planned funding could be mobilised to speed up its implementation,” he said.
He said keeping with the usual practice, the 59th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government would consider the reports of the Council of Ministers as well as specific reports submitted to ECOWAS leaders for guidance and decisions.
“In this respect, the preparatory work for this Summit centred on five major issues. Unfortunately, the security issue is still a concern for our region,” he said.