The African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have pledged to intensify their existing collaboration on peace and security within the continent.
The commitment was given when the Commissioner for Peace and Security of the AU, Bankole Adeoye, paid a working visit to the ECOWAS Commission’s Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS) in Abuja, Nigeria.
Adeoye called for the building of a more integrated capacity, full operationalisation of the African Standby Force (ASF), harmonisation and promotion of peace and security initiatives.
The AU commissioner also called for the creation of inter-regional knowledge exchange on early warning and conflict prevention and stressed the need for its collective ownership by all regional economic communities (RECs) from conception, facilitation and implementation.
‘If we invested in early warning for instance, we will not be going to Guinea to fire fight’, he said.
‘As each REC faces challenges, we can cross-learn. All we need to do is build synergies that are strong, durable and sustainable. I strongly believe in subsidiarity and the comparative advantage we can derive from it’.
The ECOWAS Commission’s Director for Political Affairs, Dr Aderemi Ajibewa, who stood in for the Commissioner for PAPS, Gen. Francis Behanzin, said, that the evolving peace and security landscape calls for closer collaboration with the continental body.
Citing instances of collaboration with the AU, he stressed the need to leverage institutional memory even as the commitment to subsidiarity, complementarity and comparative advantage remains unwavering.
Photo source: ECOWAS