Photo. Hamza Alkali/Radio Nigeria.
The ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Ambassador Abdel Fatah Moussa has expressed concern over the low number of women working as uniform personnel in the sub-region.
He made this known in Abuja at the opening of a five-day training for Police Officers from the 15 ECOWAS member countries with the theme “Policing sustainable peace: the role of Police/Gendarmerie Officers in the management of peace support operations”.
Ambassador Moussa explained that considering the important role of women in integration and stabilisation of conflict affected communities, there was the need for more women personel to effectively carryout that role.
He said the evolving dynamics of Peace Keeping Operations require more training to restore and recover affected conflict states and women are required to carry out such services.
He commended the Nigerian Armed Forces for the continuous onslaught on Boko Haram through the Multinational joint Rask Force.
For the EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Samuela Isopi, represented by Head of Human capital Leila Ben Amor, the security challenges facing the sub-region prompted ECOWAS to initiate the training.
She said the training would provide skills on strategic leadership and enhancement of strategies of various actors in Peace mission operations.
The Commandant National Defence College, Rear Admiral Murtala Bashir urged participants to actively engage in all the training components and utilise the knowledge gained.
Also, the Acting Provost Centre for Strategic Research and Studies Madam Julie Sanda said the training was prompted by the need to close the gap among Police Officers in planning for Peace keeping operations for the ECOWAS standby force.
The training is part of the ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations (EPSAO) project and is currently being implemented by the GIZ, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit.
The main aim of EPSAO is to support the ECOWAS Commission in its mandate to prevent and manage erupting conflicts within the West Africa region.
Reporting by Hamza Alkali; Editing by Chinasa Ossai and Annabel Nwachukwu