The two-day meeting, which holds in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, is to prepare for a Heads of State summit this week.
The countdown for the end of insurgency by the Nigeria-based terrorist sect, Boko Haram, has begun. Defence and Foreign Affairs Ministers from member countries of the Economic Community for Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) meet in the capital of Equatorial Guinea, Malabo, today, April 7, 2015 to lay the groundwork for a common strategy by both communities to efficiently fight the terrorist sect and ensure follow-up for its total eradication. A summit of Heads of State and Governments of the two sub-regions will follow the Ministers’ meeting.
Today’s Ministers’ meeting was preceded by a meeting of experts from both communities on Thursday, April 2, 2015 in Cameroon’s economic capital, Douala, to prepare the necessary documentation. According to ECOWAS Director of Peacekeeping and Regional Security, Dr Cyriaque Agnekethom, the general mobilisation proposed by the Heads of State is necessary. For him, the pooling of efforts by both entities in the fight against Boko Haram opens a new era in the fight against trans-regional threats.
The Malabo confab is a follow-up to the implementation of resolutions taken at the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Defence and Peace Council for Central Africa (COPAX) that held in Yaounde on February 16, 2015. Mandated by their peers, Presidents Sassou Nguesso of Congo Brazzaville and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea met Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja and current ECOWAS Chairman and Ghanaian President, John Dramani Mahama in Accra on February 24, 2015.
In a remark to Nigerian State House correspondents after the meeting, according newspaper reports, President Sassou Nguesso congratulated the government, the people of Nigeria and all other security forces “for the recent success that they recorded in overcoming attacks by Boko Haram.” In a statement later released after the Abuja meeting, “the leaders underscored the imperative of a multi-prolonged approach to fighting the terrorist group and, in particular, commended the initiative of the member States of the Lake Chad Basin Commission to form a multinational Joint Task Force to combat Boko Haram insurgents.”
Source : Cameroon Tribune