About 12 West African presidents met in Senegal yesterday and resolved among other things to set up a regional military force to combat terror groups in the region, VOA reports.
The presidents had met for the 49th session of ECOWAS summit in Dakar, and some of them were heads of states from Mali, Niger, and Ivory Coast among others. They also agreed to send an observation team to Gambia ahead of the coming elections in the country.
“We must constantly reconcile the free movement of people and goods with security measures,” said the new president of the body, Marcel Alain de Souza of Benin. “The multiplication of the number of zones of terrorism in our space obliges us to share information on all activities and to coordinate and mobilize our resources.”
Alain de Souza is the new president while Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took over from Senegalese President Macky Sall as the chairman of ECOWAS.
The presidents desire that countries in West Africa combine military and financial resources to combat terrorism by setting up a regional force that will repel militants throughout the region.
It will be recalled that Boko Haram in Nigeria has killed thousands of people in Nigeria and neighbouring countries such as Cameroon, Niger and Chad. While other extremists such as Al-Shabaab has terrorized Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and Somalia among others. They have even pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda and Islamic State to further promote their terrors across borders.