The President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Brou, on Wednesday, called for a collective approach by members-countries to fight transnational crimes in West Africa.
Brou made the call at the 16 Annual General Meeting of West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO) and Meeting of the Forum of Ministers in charge of Security in Abuja.
He was represented by ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Gen. Francis Behanzin.
He said that in spite of the collaboration among member-countries, attacks by terrorists still persisted in the region.
“Terrorists are willing to do anything because they are fearless. They have unfailing determination to carry out their acts.
“We will continue to resist by putting measures, including treaties in place to tackle the menace,’’ he said.
The president said that terrorists collaborate with drug and arms traffickers to perpetuate their acts, adding they also engage in money laundering.
He said that the commission still rely on the resilience of the heads of state in the region to fight transnational crimes.
“Our hope still remain on the determination of our heads of state and security chiefs to curb transnational crimes and local threats,’’ he said.
On his part, Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, attributed transnational crimes to internal and external migration and territorial borders crisis within the sub-region.
Dambazau, who was represented by an official of the ministry, Mrs Georgina Ehuriah, urged the participants to share their experiences from their various countries and possible areas of support and collaboration.
“The safety of the West African Sub-region is a joint responsibility; so, if this is to be achieved, give it our all,’’ he said.
Also, the acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Adamu, urged participants to re-strategise and find a common ground to cooperate and prevent movement of criminals in the region.
“We must work out how intelligence can be shared and how joint operations can be carried out,’’ he said.
The IGP said that the meeting was aimed at synergising activities of police and security agencies in their various countries.
Countries in attendance were Bukina Faso, Cape Verde, Benin Republic, Cote I`Voire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Nigeria.
The three-day meeting is aimed at addressing transnational crimes, especially terrorism, violent extremism, kidnapping, illicit circulation of small arms and light weapons, human trafficking, maritime security, herders and farmers’ conflict among others.