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ECOWAS, TCEs Move to Improve Regional Peace and Security- Sign Revised MoU

The ECOWAS Commission has signed a revised Memorandum of Understanding with its three designated Training Centers of Excellence which will enable Member States build their capacity towards ensuring peace and security in the region by incorporating an extensive research component in its training programmes.

The MoU was signed during the opening session of the meeting of Commandants of ECOWAS TCEs which held on the 29th and 30th of June, 2017 at the National Defence College (NDC), Abuja, Nigeria.
The ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs.Halima Ahmed stated in her opening remarks that the meeting would address issues relating to the training of the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) in order to sustain the status of its Full Operational Capability (FOC) and review the modalities for engaging the TCEs in the build up towards the ESF Command Post Exercise (JUGUI IV) scheduled to take place in 2018.

‘We have tried to establish the link between research and the trainings conducted in the respective Centres. The aim is to ensure that training is research driven and that ECOWAS Training Centres of Excellence would provide the Commission with research outcomes that would guide its polices’, She said.

Hence, the Commissioner noted the research conducted on the Farmers/Herders conflict in the region which was jointly undertaken by the three TCEs upon request by the Commission and with the financial support from GIZ.

The Commandant of NDC, Rear Admiral Samuel Alade noted that, given the evolving security challenges being experienced in the world today, it has become imperative for regional cooperation in the prevention of armed conflict and the maintenance of international peace and security.

Furthermore He stated that, in collaboration with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and the Ecole de Maintien de la Paix Alioune Blondin Beye (EMPABB), the TCEs will produce an annual handbook henceforth that will document all the security incidents within the region and the responses of security agencies which will serve to improve research and training of the ECOWAS Standby Force.

In a bid to improve the synergy between ECOWAS and the TCEs, members of the ESF informed the TCEs of their specific training needs and in turn will be briefed ahead on the institutions training programmes for 2018. It is expected that the Commission will mobilize adequate technical and financial resources to sustain the training and research activities of TCEs aiming at building ESF capacity and providing guidance for policy development.

ECOWAS also intimated the TCEs about its intervention in the Gambia earlier this year. The training centres were informed about its mandate and given an overview of the ECOMIG operations as well as an overall assessment of the current security situation in the Gambia.

The TCEs highlighted the need for the ESF and security agencies as well as the civilian component in Member States to increase its capacity in addressing criminal activities such as illegal fishing, narcotics, small arms proliferation, terrorism and herders-farmers conflict.

The Meeting of Commandants of the ECOWAS TCEs is a bi-Annual activity enshrined in the signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Commission and the TCEs with the aim of building up the capacity of the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) by providing training in Peace Support Operations (PSO).

Also in attendance of the meeting was the Commandant of the KAIPTC, Air Vice Marshal Griffiths Evans, the representative of the Nigerian Chief of Army Staff, the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, GIZ, the ECOWAS Director for Peacekeeping and Regional Security, Dr. Cyriaque Agnekethom and members of the ESF.

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