The outgoing President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Kadre Desire Ouedraogo says Nigeria has led and contributed to all its peace support operations and provided political , financial and logistic support to its peace keeping operations in the region.
Mr Ouedraogo made the commendation at the handing over of military equipment donated to the ECOWAS standby force by the Government of the Peoples Republic of China at the Mogadishu cantonment, Abuja.
Mr Ouedraogo, while receiving the equipment worth about five million Dollars said the deployment of ECOWAS peace support operations had evolved from adhoc arrangements into a more structured and pro-active approach within the Africa Peace and Security architecture.
“The generous donation of today will reduce ECOWAS standby Force deficiencies in area of effective rapid deployable equipment” he said.
The ECOWAS President said the body had been able to implement key African Union directives pertaining to the African Standby Force Roadmap 111.
He spoke of emerging threats to peace and security in the West African region
“Currently, our region is faced with new realities and emerging threats to peace and security. There has been an upsurge in religious extremism, new waves of terrorist attacks and asymmetric warfare. The sad experience of humanitarian emergency during the Ebola Virus Disease scourge remains fresh in our minds also” he lamented.
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Gu Xiaojie while handing over the Military equipment to the ECOWAS Commission said China would continue to support the ECOWAS member countries in maintaining peace and stability.
Ambassador Xiaojie said for the past forty years China had been in good political and economic relations with ECOWAS member countries and intends to continue to explore more ways of mutual economic benefits.
Nigeria’s Defense Minister, General Manir Dan-Ali (Rtd) represented by Mr David Gende commended the Chinese government for their gesture which he said would go a long way in enhancing the performance of the personnel in peace keeping missions.
Mr. Gende emphasized that Nigeria had also technically won the war against the insurgency by pushing back the terrorists out of the nation’s borders.
He also put on record that member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin Republic had made tremendous contributions through the Multinational Joint Task Force in fighting terrorism and keeping the region safe.
Some of the military equipment donated by China to ECOWAS include fuel tankers , water tankers, 3 Sports Utility Vehicles, ambulance, satellite phones, laptops, cameras, mobile phones, printers, five generators, military fatigues, tents, porter cabins and others.