West African leaders have announced their intention to establish a regional peacekeeping force to deal with coups.
The said peacekeeping force would also help deal with the surging militant activities in member states.
West Africa has for the past two years witnessed several coups. The regional body wants to more to boost constitutional government in the region.
ECOWAS leaders met in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja on Sunday and agreed that a peacekeeping force could be helpful.
“The leaders of ECOWAS have decided to recalibrate our security architecture to ensure that we take care of our own security in the region,” a communique after an annual summit said.
It added that “The leaders are determined to establish a regional force that will intervene in the event of need, whether this is in the area of security, terrorism (or to) … restore constitutional order in member countries.”
Not much details were provided on the modalities for such a regional force but many countries — including Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, and southwards to the Gulf of Guinea — are ridden with a wave of jihadism.
Internal militaries and security agencies have so far been unable to control the jihadist forces operating across borders. External actors such as the UN, France and Russia are providing support in some countries.
Meanwhile before the session of the Heads of State, a foundation laying ceremony of the new ECOWAS headquarters building took place.
According to the ECOWAS statement, the building is funded by the Chinese Government.
The Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS laid the Foundation of a new ECOWAS Headquarters building on December 4, 2022 in Abuja, Nigeria. The new headquarters Project which is being financed by the Chinese Government through China Aid is expected to be completed in 26 months. pic.twitter.com/jjB31eLWrF
— Ecowas – Cedeao (@ecowas_cedeao) December 5, 2022