Home News ECOWAS Police Chiefs Synergise To Tackle Security Challenges In The Region

ECOWAS Police Chiefs Synergise To Tackle Security Challenges In The Region

ECOWAS Police Chiefs Synergise To Tackle Security Challenges In The Region

Princess-Ekwi Ajide

The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has emphasised the critical need for regional police chiefs to adapt and collaborate in addressing complex security challenges in the region.

Speaking at the West African Police Chiefs Committee, WAPCCO, technical sub-committee meeting in Abuja, the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, Ambassador Abdel-Fatah Musah, represented by Permanent Secretary of WAPCCO, the Commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Dr. Abdourahmane Dieng, highlighted the impact of evolving information technology on the sophistication of crimes.

He stressed the necessity for security and law enforcement agents to adapt to the dynamic nature of cyberspace, which criminals exploit to conduct illicit activities more efficiently and safely while underscoring that illicit traffic and proliferation of small arms and light weapons, human smuggling activities, armed robbery, illicit migration, child trafficking and labor, kidnapping, abduction, and maritime piracy are but a few of the main issues trending in the region”.

Ambassador Abdel-Fatah Musah, urged participants to share, exchange, and discuss issues surrounding training and operations to develop joint strategies for enhancing security personnel’s capabilities.

The Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, on his part, called for greater collaboration and innovative approaches among West African police chiefs to address the emerging and complex security challenges facing ECOWAS.

Egbetokun highlighted the increasing complexity of national security challenges within the West African subregion, exacerbating transnational crimes, and emphasised the urgent need for member states to bolster their national security capacities, particularly in cyberspace, to counter the activities of cybercriminals who exploit the differences in legal frameworks and legislative systems across the region.

According to him, the region‘s security reality continually deepens the need to commit to regional collaboration, towards dissecting the pattern and trend of crimes on the one hand, and towards pulling together and supporting each other in bridging our national security gaps.

He enumerated various traditional and emerging crimes, including theft, cross-border robberies, human trafficking, drug trafficking, smuggling of small arms and light weapons, banditry, and terrorism, which pose significant threats to national security and regional peace.

Egbetokun also noted the rise of cybercrime and cyber-enabled crimes as formidable challenges to the subregion’s security.

The Director of the Interpol Regional Bureau in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Mrs. Paule Ouedrago, reiterated the necessity of collaboration to combat the transnational nature of crimes.

She pledged the Regional Office’s support through international police cooperation and called for stronger collaboration between the Permanent Secretariat of the Committee of Police Chiefs and her office in organizing and implementing police training and operations adding that together, they will succeed in dismantling and disrupting the criminal networks that undermine the tireless development efforts.

A shared commitment among ECOWAS member states to strengthen regional partnerships in training and enhancing operational integration among security forces and border management agencies to effectively address the multifaceted security challenges in the sub-region, formed the highlights of the event.


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