The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission is cautioning of an influx of terrorists from Burkina Faso if governments in the sub-region of Africa do not show political will in tackling cross-border terrorism.
Speaking exclusively to TV3’s Komla Klutse in Abuja Nigeria, Commissioner for Political, Peace and Security, Abdel Fatau-Musah said although governments are putting in place measures to fight terrorism, their efforts may not be enough.
“Governments have always expressed their determination to fight against terrorism and they are at it.
“The fact is, are their instruments enough to deal with it? Because this is an existential threat for the region, so it is not just a matter of Burkina Faso or Mali, if it was that then the Accra Initiative will not come into being because the spillover effect is going to be horrible.
“Burkina Faso is the dam, once it bursts all the countries around it are going to be inundated and we need to do that. There is this understanding between them but is also very difficult for ECOWAS to deal fully with countries under a military regime so we are having a very delicate balancing act between us and them, so when we pull this force together that full force will also support the national initiative.
“Negotiations are ongoing in that respect to make sure that there is a regional approach and that we don’t allow countries to face this threat alone in their country.”
He added “So there is that political will to do that, now we are looking at the methodology and most importantly how do you mobilize resources for that, that is the key person here, particularly enablers, whether you are talking about airpower, whether you are talking about night vision google for the Military and others.
“At times the terrorist organization have got more firepower than even the national forces and their use of improvised explosive devices which have become the weapon of choice for these people. We need to find antidote for them and this is what ECOWAS is doing.”
Eleven soldiers and 112 “terrorists” have been killed in recent days during several anti-jihadist operations in Burkina Faso, the target of deadly attacks in recent weeks, the army general staff announced last Thursday.
“Several large-scale operations were launched simultaneously (…) as part of the reconquest of the national territory wanted by the President of the Transition”, indicates an army press release, without specifying the exact date of these.
“During the progress of our units, 11 of our fighters lost their lives on the field of honor. Four others who were injured were taken care of by health structures”, continues the staff. which specifies that the ground units were supported by air forces.
The Africanews reported that the army also indicates that 112 “terrorists” were “neutralized” (killed, editor’s note) and weapons, vehicles, and explosive devices were “destroyed or recovered”. The operations, carried out “for several days” are continuing in the north and east of the country, particularly affected by jihadist attacks.