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ECOWAS Commission Facilitates Regional Training on Physical Security and Stockpile Management
(L-R) Lt. Colonel Jens Kermes, Bernt-Michael Gelpka, Colonel Aminu Isa, Dr. Cyriaque Agnekethom and Brig-Gen Dahiru at the meeting

Abuja, 17th February, 2020. In collaboration with the government of Nigeria and support of Germany, the ECOWAS Commission is facilitating a regional training on Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM).

The training sessions are part of the efforts meant to bolster and sustain enhancement of the peace and security architecture of the region.

At the opening ceremony of the training on the 17th of February 2020 in Abuja, Nigeria, the ECOWAS’ Director, Peacekeeping and Regional Security, Dr. Cyriaque Agnekethom, stated that even though the ECOWAS Convention gave impetus to the fight against the proliferation of arms, it also seeks to control the acquisition by Member States, of weapons through the ECOWAS exemption processes.

Noting that the legal side of things are being controlled though physical security, he said with the roadmap now on hand, it is necessary to develop a regional pool of experts on this important subject.

Director Agnekethom who spoke on behalf of the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Gen Francis Behanzin, thanked the Multi-national Small Arms Group, the management of the Nigerian Command and Staff College, Jaji as well as the Bonn International Centre for Conversion, for their steadfastness in organising the training sessions and the technical expertise provided.

Dr. Agnekethom making his speech at the opening
Group photograph of participants

Also speaking, the representative of the German Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. Bernt-Michael Gelpka, expressed the satisfaction of the German government with the determined strides by ECOWAS to entrench sustainable peace in the region.

He noted that with the experience gathered from the roadmap in Western Balkans, the German government will continue to come in good stead in terms of support for the ECOWAS peace and security processes.

Stressing the importance of gender mainstreaming in the peace building process, he pledged an unwavering high level collaboration by the German government towards ensuring the implementation of the tenets of the regional roadmap on peace and security.

In his address, the Nigerian Minister of Defence who was represented by Colonel Aminu Bello Isa, identified the proliferation of small arms and light weapons as one of the main fuels of tensions, conflicts, banditry, farmers-herders conflicts as well as ethno-religious unrests in the region.

He disclosed that research and findings have also shown that the arms found with non-state actors are taken from poorly managed deports and armoury of States in the region.

He reiterated the boosting of the capacities of service personnel as a way of ensuring that best military professional conduct prevails towards having a safer, larger society.

The current session of training will end on the 21st of February 2020.

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