ECOWAS seeks $2.4 billion for anti-terrorism standby force

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has said that it would need raise $2.4 billion to set up a standby counter-terrorism force.

Abdel-Fatau Musah, ECOWAS commissioner in charge of political affairs, peace, and security, stated this at a three-day meeting of the ECOWAS training centres of excellence, held in Nigeria’s federal capital, Abuja.

The three centres of excellence are the National Defence College, Nigeria; Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Ghana; and Ecole de Maintien de la Paix Alioune Blondin Beye, Mali.

Musah said, “This is the decision, and in the coming weeks, ECOWAS has already with the Chief of Defence Staffs, developed operational modalities, the concept of operations and everything for us to aggregate,” the commissioner said.

“It will be something like an advance rapid reaction force of a battalion that will be able to confront terrorists’ bases.”

He explained that as part of the resolution of the authority of heads of states, $2.4 billion would be raised to fund the ECOWAS standby force.

“The Heads of States have decided that on the first year, we must raise about 2.4 billion dollars to support the operation of this force in order to face the terrorists,” he added.

According to him, member states are to contribute one billion dollars each for commencement of the standy force. He stated that ministers of defence, and finance from ECOWAS states would meet to decide the funding plans.

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