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ECOWAS heads of states pledge $1 billion to combat terrorism in regions
WEST African leaders have pledged to contribute $1 billion to combat the increasing threat of Islamist militancy in the sub-region.
Head of the regional ECOWAS bloc, Jean- Claude Kassi Brou disclosed this during the Extraordinary summit on the counter-terrorism in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso concluded on Sunday.
He said that the Commission has decided to “contribute financially and urgently to a joint effort in the fight against terrorism,” by pledging the sum of $1billion to address the growing insecurity in the sub-region.
The Ouagadougou counter-terrorism summit, was an offshoot of the 55th ECOWAS ordinary session held in Nigeria in June.
President Muhammadu Buhari who also spoke at the summit over the weekend charged other African heads of state with the responsibility of ensuring peace within their countries by foiling plans by terrorist groups to destabilise the region.
“The frequency of attacks, the determination and resilience of the terrorist groups as well as the ease with which they raise funds and acquire sophisticated weapons are matters of serious concern which should engage our attention as a Community,” Buhari said, addressing the summit.
“Equally worrisome is the continuing spread of the menace of terrorism in the region and the growing link between terrorism and organized crime. This is why we must not relent in our efforts until we defeat the monster completely.”
He also stressed the importance of regional collaboration as a major strategy towards arresting the menace.
Frequent terrorist attacks in the Sahel region by groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State terrorist group, is making large swathes of territory ungovernable and stoking local ethnic violence, especially in Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria.
Nigeria is battling with Islamist group, Boko Haram that are raiding of villages in the Northeast region.