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Nigeria sues ECOWAS collaboration to tackle bandits, terrorists infiltrating Member States


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July 27, 2020- Nigeria’s Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola, has urged governments of ECOWAS Member States on greater collaboration with Nigeria to deal more decisively with the incursion of bandits, terrorists and insurgents infiltrating territories of Member States.


The Directorate of Communications, ECOWAS Commission in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja said Aregbesola made the call during the fourth annual Ministerial meeting on ECOWAS regional migration cooperation.


The virtual meeting which aims to strengthen inter-state conversation on migration related issues under the auspices of the Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA), held on the 24th of July, 2020.


Aregbesola who Chaired the meeting noted that dialogue is a basic tool of civilization meant to deepen the engagement and advancement of citizens and nations.


The Nigerian Interior Minister drew particular attention to developments that concern security, criminality which also involves the region’s border facilities.


Aregbesola also stressed the need to examine the identified issues of migration that are of mutual benefits to all.


Rounding up the meeting, he called on delegates to ensure that resolutions on ease of movement are well guarded even as a harmonized data management and integrated systems for efficiency are developed.


According to the statement, the Ministers also deliberated on the modalities of involving ECOWAS Member States at the highest level in the implementation of regional legal instruments on free movement of persons.


They also deliberated on strengthening the existing synergies between the Ministers responsible for security and interior in order to facilitate the application of regional instruments relating to migration, among others.


According to the statement, the ministers were also briefed on guidelines to be adopted by Member States, following the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on regional free movement.


It stated that these guidelines were in regards to border management for ease of implementation given that they have oversight function on the enforcement agencies.


It stated that President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Brou observed that the region has recently been experiencing various types of migration.


Brou who was represented by Mr. Tei Konzi, Commissioner for Trade, Customs and Free Movement said the various types of migration have worsen the effects on population pressure, poverty, poor economic performance and endemic conflict.


The development, he maintained, has necessitated deliberations on border management in accordance with the new guidelines for the mobility of persons.


The Statement quoted Brou saying “in order to understand contemporary migration systems and current policies in the region, it is necessary to examine the situation and discuss lessons learned.


“For the formulation and implementation of migration policies to identify the challenges posed to West Africa by migration management,” Brou said.


According to the statement, Ms Aissata Kane, representative of the International Office for Migration extended deep appreciation to the ECOWAS Commission for the leadership provided in the migration processes of the region.


Kane expressed IOM’s optimism that ministers will validate the ECOWAS Regional Migration Policy and the manual on border management and free movement training.


She said this also include the guidelines for the harmonization of migration data management in the ECOWAS Region as well as the MIDWA Monitoring and Evaluation Plan.


It stated that Ms Eleni Zerzelidou delivered the goodwill message from the European Union reiterating its commitment to the MIDA process.


The statement notes that the meeting featured the presentation of reports and summaries of recommendations of the 2019 MIDWA experts, heads of Immigration meeting.


It is also an update on the global compact for Migration and regional consultative process.


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