The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament has condemned the rising insecurity in the region.
The Community Parliament also expressed worry over the continued loss of lives, as well as avoidable humanitarian crisis in parts of West Africa.
The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament Dr. Side Mohamed Tunis who stated this in his address,at the official opening of the 2022 First Extraordinary Session of the Parliament in Monrovia, Liberia, also disclosed that Boko Haram attacks and worsening violence being perpetrated by criminal gangs in northeastern Nigeria have claimed no fewer than 2000 lives of innocent civilians in the region.
Dr. Tunis also said the waves of attacks from violent extremists in Burkina Faso has exacerbated the already worsening humanitarian situation in the country
This is even as he drew the Parliament’s attention to an alleged Genocide Alert in Ambazonia, Southern Cameroon.
He said, “Another scenario worthy of mention, is the rising insecurity in the Sahel region. As you well know, the the situation is most precarious in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and the Lake Chad Basin”‘.
“Deteriorating security and violence are aggravating an already difficult humanitarian situation, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change”.
“Last year’s deadly attacks in the western Tahoua region of Niger, Boko Haram attacks and worsening violence being perpetrated by criminal gangs in northwestern Nigeria, have together claimed the lives of at least 2000 innocent civilians in the region. It is very sad and worrying that if nothing is done to reverse this ugly trend, more lives would be lost, and the sufferings of innocent civilians will continue.”
“There is, therefore, an urgent need for scaled-up operations in joint border patrols and an unmatched show of solidarity that will disrupt trafficking networks that supply terrorist groups across West Africa and the Sahel”.
The Speaker disclosed that he received a document referenced “Genocide Alert in Ambazonia, Southern Cameroon” from a group under the banner “United Support for Peace”.
He noted that the letter made him deeply concerned about conflicts and the human rights situation in Cameroon’s minority Anglophone region.
“Violence has displaced tens of thousands of people in the past year, adding to the hundreds of thousands who have fled their homes since the start of the violence in 2016. An African proverb says “It is only a foolish person who sleeps when his neighbor’s roof is on fire”.
Dr. Tunis expressed optimism that the rights of all would be respected and all conflicts in the region would be resolved amicably.