The African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have stressed the need for a unified regional approach to tackle evolving security challenges across Africa. This was emphasized during the inaugural joint consultation between the AU Peace and Security Council and the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council at the Ambassadorial level in Abuja.

Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to ECOWAS and Chair of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council, Ambassador Musa Nuhu, highlighted the dynamic nature of Africa’s security landscape. He pointed out the emergence of new and complex threats such as terrorism, violent extremism, and unconstitutional changes in government. Nuhu emphasized the necessity of collective efforts transcending national borders to effectively address these challenges.

He also underscored the significance of joint consultative engagements between the AU and Regional Economic Communities as crucial platforms for fostering a collective response to mitigate these security threats. Nuhu stated, “For long, the African continent has struggled with security challenges that have brought untold hardship to our people.”

“The security landscape in Africa is a dynamic one, constantly presenting new complex threats from terrorism and violent extremism to unconstitutional changes of government. These challenges demand a unified response that goes beyond our national boundaries and requires collective efforts,” he added.

Ambassador Jainaba Jagne, the Permanent Representative of The Gambia to the African Union and Chairperson of the AU Peace and Security Council, also emphasized the importance of collaboration and cooperation in preventing, managing, and resolving conflicts. She highlighted the challenges posed by terrorism, violent extremism, and unconstitutional changes of government in the region, underscoring their detrimental effects on peace, security, and stability.

Jagne expressed confidence in the collective effort to counter these threats and reverse the current trends, stating, “Together, we can reverse this unfortunate trend.”

The 15-nation bloc ECOWAS, formed in 1975 to promote economic integration in member states, has faced challenges in recent years, including a wave of military takeovers in the region. ECOWAS imposed economic sanctions on the countries with military takeovers, but these sanctions were lifted in February 2024 following the intervention of Nigeria’s ex-military head of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon. The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, said the decisions were taken in the interest of unity and security in the African sub-region.

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