Touray: Unity of ECOWAS Member States Key to Ending Security Threat in West Africa


The President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Dr Omar Alieu Touray has said unity of all member states of the regional bloc is key to achieving maximum success in the battle against the pervasive threat of insecurity.

The President made the call in his message on the commemoration of the 49th anniversary of ECOWAS with the theme: “Strengthening Regional Unity, Peace and Security”, adding that everything must be done to preserve the unity of the region.

Touray, in a statement, said the theme of this year was chosen to reflect the current challenges and also to remind the Community of the need to work to preserve regional unity and peace, two cherished objectives set by ECOWAS Founding Fathers.

He noted that: These are goals that the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government work to safeguard every day through their efforts to ensure the security of our people and protect the integrity of our territories”.

He recalled that the Heads of State and Government of fifteen West African Countries established ECOWAS when they signed the ECOWAS Treaty on the 28th of May 1975 in Lagos, Nigeria.

He said neither the founding fathers nor the present or future generations would understand or forgive any breakup of the Community.

Touray said: “Precisely 49 years ago, the Founding Fathers signed the treaty creating the Economic Community of West African States. Since then, ECOWAS has served the region and continues to unite our peoples around the common ideals of shared prosperity.

 “It is clear that we must stay united if we want to be successful in the fight against insecurity.   But it is our unity which now stands threatened. We must do everything to preserve our unity “because to quote General Yakubu Gowon, one of the founding fathers of ECOWAS.

“We are convinced that in unity, we will preserve peace and strengthen our actions for the security of our Member States and our people”. 

He added that through unity, we will preserve regional stability and the harmonious political and socio-economic development of our community Dr Touray said that in face of insecurity and other challenges the region has achieved tangible and positive results.

“ECOWAS may have realized many achievements, but the Community continues to face a number of challenges. As we celebrate our 49thanniversary, insecurity continues to threaten our region. Some of our member states are battling terrorist groups on a daily basis and large number of our population face displacement and food insecurity

“As we celebrate ECOWAS 49th anniversary, let us recall some of the tangible and positive results the Community has to its credit.  These achievements can be seen in many areas including free movement of our people, Intra Community trade, regional energy, and transport infrastructure, governance as well as in peace and Security”

According to Touray, “We remain convinced that together we can build on these achievements and attain the objectives in our Vision 2050 “of a fully integrated Community of peoples in a peaceful and prosperous region with strong institutions that respect fundamental freedoms and work towards inclusive and sustainable development”.

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