ECOWAS is considering activating its anti-terrorism protocols to deal with the growing threat of terrorism in the sub-region, President John Dramani Mahama has said.
Three member states: Ivory Coast, Mali and Burkina Faso, have, in the recent past, come under terror attacks with more than 70 deaths.
President Mahama, who visited Ivory Coast on Tuesday March 22, to express his solidarity with the government and people there following the terrorist attack on the country on March 13, announced plans to activate the ECOWAS anti-terror protocols, which he said would mean tighter restrictions on movement within the sub-region.
“I came to visit my brother to express our solidarity with the people of Cote d’Ivoire following the incident that happened recently in the resort in Grand Bassam. We had sent a delegation earlier because I was out of the country in Scotland and I arrived recently and it was necessary for me to come by personally and express our solidarity. As you know, the people of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire are brothers. We share a lot of things in common, and, so, an incident affecting one affects the other. That’s why we are here with this delegation,” he told journalists.
“We have also discussed our common security because we are all in the same sub-region. ECOWAS has passed several protocols on anti-terrorism and we have been discussing how we can activate those protocols.
“It’s a pity that this is happening at this time because at this time we have been trying to integrate our economies and our people, create the opportunities for our people to move freely across our borders, but when things like this happen, then it means that you have to be more vigilant, you have to be scrutinising people, who are coming across the borders.
So, we have been discussing how commonly we can share intelligence, and how we can still maintain our integration and let people move freely, but at the same time make sure that people, who want to harm us and are coming across our borders, we are able to identify who they are and prevent them from doing the evil they want to inflict on our people.”