West African nations have suffered a total of 700 terrorist attacks resulting in 2,000 civilian and military deaths from 2020 to now, said an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) official on Saturday.
Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, the president of the ECOWAS Commission, said insecurity was still a major concern for the region as violent extremism threatened the stability of the region.
“Despite the significant efforts made by member states, particularly those on the frontline, terrorist attacks doubled between the first five months of 2020 and 2021,” said Brou in his opening speech during the 59th Ordinary Session of the Heads of State of ECOWAS.
“These attacks occur largely in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria, spreading to coastal countries, and increasing the number of displaced persons in the West African subregion,” he said.
“The implementation of the Regional Plan of Action to Combat Terrorism, which you adopted in September 2019, has commenced and should complement the significant efforts made by each member state to combat the menace,” he told the heads of state.
The official urged that the planned mobilization of funds for the implementation be done early to accelerate the process.