ECCAS and ECOWAS sign maritime security agreement

Nations from the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have signed an agreement regarding the improvement of maritime security during their Maritime Safety and Security Conference.

More than 250 representatives from more than 20 African nations attended the conference on March 26-29 in Benin, which was held to charter a way for cooperation between both African communities to provide regional maritime security in the central and western African regions and among member states to combat piracy, robbery at sea, and other illicit activities at sea in the Gulf of Guinea. Other guests representing the United Nations, the African Union, Europe and the United States were also in attendance.

The event concluded with ECOWAS and ECCAS signing a communiqué agreeing on the submission of a draft Memorandum of Understanding and Operational Agreement to the respective Regional Economic Community Secretariats.

“This is a meeting of technical experts from West and Central Africa on ways to achieve strategic synergies in the maritime domains of two regional economic communities,” said Lieutenant Colonel Abdourahmane Dieng, head of ECOWAS security. “This initiative comes at a time when the menace of and threat posed by piracy is touching the pillars of the economy of both the coastal and land locked states in our region. Within West Africa, and the Gulf of Guinea in particular, we can identify a series of trans-border crimes such as hijacking, armed robbery, illegal migration, illicit fishing, toxic waste dumping, human trafficking, illegal drug trafficking, piracy and hostage taking.”

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Story courtesy of Defence Web.

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