By Lawrence Olaoye Abuja
Head of States and Governments in the western and central African states have expressed concerns over the upsurge in the spread of violent conflicts between herders and farmers due particularly to the adverse effects of climate change.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the joint summit of Economic Community of west African States ECOWAS, and the Economic Community of Central African States ECCAS in Lome,the Togolese Capital, referred to as the Lome Declaration, the heads of states renewed their commitments to cooperate in conflict prevention, promotion of peace and stability in the two regions.
They considered the overall security situations in west and central Africa noting that the risks created by the increase number of security challenges, particularly terrorism, human, drugs and arms trafficking, money laundering and cybercrime.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe said the geographical proximity of western and central Africa has created leakages for security and business.
He said ” The borders we share make us vulnerable to external influences. It is imperative that we find a common approach to protecting our people from the dangers of these influences by writing a new page to work together for better living for our people”
“The cross border nature of the security threats we face should not hinder our trade relations and other beneficial interventions” Special representative of the United Nations Secretary General and Head of the UN office for West Africa Muhammed Ibn Chambers stated that Africa must work hard to tackle the root causes of insecurity and terrorism.
He used the medium to call for the doubling of efforts to save the lake chad region from drought in order to reduce the incessant farmers herders crises across west Africa.
He added that with the signing of the memoranda of understanding between ECOWAS and ECCAS, the region has what it takes to forge ahead in the areas of Security of lives and properties.
The Communiqué also captured instructions from heads of governments to their relevant ministers to consider issues relating to Migration and climate change in their common space.
the 21-point communiqué captured the aim of the joint summit which was to create conditions for sustainable peace and secured environment in common area of the two regions.