Liberia: ECOWAS Pushes for Security Framework Implementation

ECOWAS security sector reform stakeholders posed during the start of forum

— Says Ambassador Nkrumah… the SSRG framework supports and promotes regional peace including security and stability, which ECOWAS member states must prioritize now as its implementation is urgently needed.

The ECOWAS assigned envoy to Liberia, Josephine Nkrumah, has disclosed that the implementation of the ECOWAS  Security Sector Reform and Governance Policy Framework (SSRG) document in Liberia and other member states is crucial for regional stability.

The SSRG, which became an official document of the ECOWAS Commission in 20121, “recognizes that democratic governance and human security are at the core of the strategy, which aims at making security a regional public good and an essential service for citizens as well as a vital component in achieving sustainable development.”

It also seeks to promote common security standards in the region, complement nationally- led initiatives, and promote regional security coordination and cooperation to effectively tackle new and emerging security challenges. 

The SSRG, according to Nkrumah,  is vital for regional security as it offers unique value that lies in its comprehensive approach to "connected security" in the region. 

“This framework improves accountability and responsiveness of security service provision while enhancing national and regional efforts in conflict prevention, and countering terrorism and violent extremism,” Nkrumah said. “It is good at improving maritime security and governance, combating transnational and organized crime. As well as controlling small arms and light weapons proliferation.”

However, the ECOWAS ambassador was quick to point out that the framework document is not meant to replace member states’ national security strategies, but rather to supplement them by strengthening regional security standards, coordination, and collaboration to address new and emerging security concerns.

Nkrumah added that the SSRG is meant to support and promote regional peace including security and stability which ECOWAS member states must prioritize now as its implementation is urgently needed.

She spoke yesterday at an ongoing 4-day workshop organized by the ECOWAS Commission on the implementation of the SSRG framework -- targeting Liberia, Nigeria, and Niger.

The workshop, according to ECOWAS, is an effort to build the capacity of stakeholders and institutions in the security sector regardings the SSRG.  Other organizers of the workshop include the African Security Sector Network, the European Union, and the Cooperation German.

Also, the Ambassador of the European Union to Liberia, Laurent Delahousse, has said that the ECOWAS SSRG policy focuses on joining efforts to bring about accomplishments, of which the EU is highly supportive.

Delahousse added that the factor of regional integration is a tremendous element in the world and its maintenance is important to combating Jihadist threats across the world.

“The European Union is putting over US$16 million together with addition from the German Government to ensure member states are effective in carrying out the ECOWAS SSRG framework.

Meanwhile, Jarjar Kamara, an Ambassador-at-large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has stressed the need for the ECOWAS region to invest more in early warning mechanisms, to enhance cordial relations based on friendship and cooperation. 

He called on member states to double up on integration, be it in the area of economics or politics.

“It will interest you to know that the major achievement of ECOWAS is the consolidation of peace and security in conflict-affected countries of our sub-region,” he said.

According to him, politics was not envisaged 47 years ago when ECOWAS was founded. 

“But since the famous deployment of ECOMOG on Liberian soil on August 23, 1990, the organization has grown into a formidable and potent regional body that is respected in terms of achievements. Let us continue to build on this success,” Kamara said.