Monday, July 22, 2024

ECOWAS Staff Gear Up for Week-long Mission to Strengthen Regional Security

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By Dawda Baldeh

Staff members from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have begun a week-long in-mission training at a local hotel in Kololi, The Gambia, to enhance the capabilities of the regional bloc’s personnel to address threats within its member states and ensure efficient operations that align with the interests of its members.

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Speaking at the opening of the training, Claude Kondor, Political Adviser at the Permanent Mission in The Gambia, commended the EU and partners for their unwavering support in building the capacity of ECOWAS personnel.

The in-mission training was conducted by the Directorate of Peacekeeping & Regional Security (DPKRS) through the Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) within the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security of ECOWAS, in partnership with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra, Ghana.

It has been disclosed that the KAIPTC has maintained its partnership with the ECOWAS Commission, focusing on Peace Support Operations Training and capacity enhancement, with the goal of improving the proficiency of their staff officers in the ECOWAS Mission in The Gambia.

“Regional peace operations must be empowered and equipped to play greater roles in sustaining peace at all stages of conflict, and in all its dimensions,” said Mr. Touray.

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Mr. Kondor disclosed that the training’s objectives and expected outcomes are well-suited for preparing staff officers of the ECOMIG Mission, along with the personnel of the Gambia Defense and Security Forces, to execute the correct operational procedures pertinent to their roles.

Raphael Brigandi, the Deputy Head of the EU Delegation in Banjul, highlighted the significance of the week-long in-house training for ECOWAS staff.

Mr. Brigandi stressed that the training would bolster the strategic role of ECOWAS in enhancing the capabilities of its Member States to tackle current and future threats.

He pointed out that providing security and justice services to the member states is a critical issue.

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“EU will continue supporting the ECOWAS in its mission in the Gambia,” he said, adding that the regional bloc has played a crucial role in ensuring a peaceful democratic transition in the country.

“This training is crucial, and it is designed for staff officers and personnel deployed in ECOWAS Peace Support Operations (PSOs) to enhance your understanding of the broader perspectives and framework in which you work,” he said.

He added: “The course provides you the opportunity to further understand their mission structure, system, processes, policies, and procedures appropriate to your roles and responsibilities.”

The EU representative further emphasized the importance of this course for ECOWAS staff in carrying out their duties.

He revealed that since the project’s inception, over 300 personnel have indeed been trained through the ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations (EPSAO) Project co-financed by the EU and the German Government and implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation.

The EU representative expressed gratitude to the ECOWAS Commission, the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), and the GIZ-ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations project.

Meanwhile, Commandant of KAIPTC-Major General Richard Addo Gyane, disclosed that in recent years, substantial progress has been made towards fully operationalizing the ESF, as part of the broader African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and the African Standby Force.

He told the participants that the ESF Mission Headquarters simplifies information flow and access for staff officers.

“This intensive one-week course provides a platform for you to share your skills, expertise, and good practices,” he said.

This week-long in-mission training is expected to boost the capacity of the ECOWAS personnel and The Gambia Armed Force to ensure smooth operations to serve its members’ interests.

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