Deputy Defense Minister Craves ECOWAS Intervention in Electoral Process

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(L-R) President de Souza, Minister Dussey and Commissioner Ahmed.

The Deputy Minister of Defense for Operations , Saint Jerome Larbelle, has urged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to continue its support to the electoral process in Liberia.

According to a release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja, Minister Larbelle made the appeal during the 39th Ordinary Meeting of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council (MSC) at the Ministerial Level last week.

The MSC is part of a series of annual end-of-year Statutory Meetings of ECOWAS that took place in Abuja, Nigeria. The meetings came on the heels of the  52nd Ordinary Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government.

According to the release, the Deputy Minister of Defense represented the Liberian side at the MSC, where security issues and the creation of a more stable region dominated the discussions.

The release added that  according to Minister Larbelle, the return of the ECOWAS team to help the country’s National Elections Commission (NEC) with the Final Registration Roll (FRR) will help maintain peace and security in Liberia and the sub-region.

Earlier, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel de Souza, in his welcome remarks, talked about the sub-regional body’s support for electoral activities in Member States.

The President also noted other security concerns, including transhuman, farmers-pastoralists clashes as well as the scale of the humanitarian situation. He, however, stressed that the Commission was on top of the situation.

Mr. Souza stressed the importance of adopting a comprehensive and all-inclusive approach to an enduring security architecture in order to have a more stable region.

The ECOWAS Commission president, who gave an overview and a situation report in the Member States while briefing the ministers on the social and political developments in the regional community, cited some Member States where terrorism, violent extremism, and inter-communal conflict continue to be major threats to peace and security. These countries include Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration of Togo and Chair of the MSC, Professor Robert Dussey, stressed the need to consolidate on the gains made so far by the Council.

According to him, it has become more imperative for all security issues with the potential of destabilizing the region to be treated with utmost care.

Among the issues considered by the Ministers was the Report of the 27th Meeting of the MSC at the Ambassadorial Level, a memorandum on the political and security situation and the status of maritime security in the region.

The final report of the MSC would be forwarded to the ECOWAS Council of Ministers who met on the heels of the MSC preparatory to the Summit of the Heads of State and Government held on Dec. 16.

Liberia’s Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Finance and Development Planning, Marjon V. Kamara and Boimah Kamara, represented Liberia at the event.

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