This was part of views expressed by participants at a two-day Inter-governmental experts meeting on the Validation of the ECOWAS Regional Policy Framework on Security Sector Reform and Governance (SSSR/G) which ended in Banjul, The Gambia.
Participants also advocated “minimal political interference in the professional affairs of Security Sectors of Member States,” while those states that have already initiated SSRG reforms, should align them with the Regional Policy Framework proposed by ECOWAS once adopted.
In its 17-point report the meeting equally urged ECOWAS to define strategies, priorities, timelines, success indicators or short-comings on the implementation of the reforms.
Member States were also called upon to take into cognizance the need to consistently improve the remunerations/welfare packages of law enforcement agents/security providers as a prerequisite for effective implementation of SSRG processes as stated in Article 74(a) of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework of 2008.
In her address to the opening of the meeting, read by the Head of Division, Regional Security, Col. Abdourahmane Dieng, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman said the role of ECOWAS has become crucial to assist states to prevent, anticipate, prepare and respond better and faster to issues that could challenge security and stability of our region.
Gambia’s Interior Minister, Ousman Sonko, who declared the meeting opened said experiences of West African countries emerging from conflict over the past two decades have shown that security is a prerequisite for economic and social development and regional integration.