The ECOWAS Commission has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and a Project Implementation Agreement (PIA) with 10 training institutions on peace and security in the region, as part of efforts to strengthen the capacities of the institutions, the Commission said in a statement obtained by PANA here Tuesday.
It said a key objective of the MoU is to strengthen the training pillars of the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF), ECOWAS Institutions, Member States and Civil Society Organisations for the prevention and resolution of conflicts in the region, and to develop a full range of training at all levels, cutting across a broad spectrum including Military, Police, Civilian and Humanitarian issues.
This is in line with the regional Peace Support Operations (PSO) Concepts and the need for effective capacity building, particularly with reference to the recommendation of the 4th Defence and Security Commission meeting of August 2002 in Cote d’Ivoire, calling for the establishment of Tactical, Operational and Strategic training facilities within the region.
According to the commission, the MoU seeks to create the modalities for enhancing demand-driven PSO training capacity building, operational relationship, coherence and coordination between ECOWAS and the Training Institutions for their efficient and effective functioning in support of the strengthening of the training pillars of ESF
The Training Institutions are to operate as regional PSO Training Institutions for the strengthening of the ESF training pillars with support from ECOWAS in their staffing, curriculum development and any other areas as needed.
They are mandated to develop their curriculum on PSO in consultation with ECOWAS, taking into account the National, ECOWAS and African Union priority training needs regarding the African Standby Force (ASF).
The Project Implementation Agreement, on the other hand, equally takes into cognisance relevant provisions of the Regional Protocol on Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security, as well as the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance relating to the role of the Armed Forces, Police and the Security Forces in the democracy within the region.
It stresses the need to develop the capacities of the Commission and ECOWAS institutions, Member States, training institutions, and civil society organisations in the West African region in the promotion of Peace and Security and resolution of conflicts.
Speaking on behalf of heads of Training Institutions after the signing of the MoU and the PIA, Col. Guy Youga Thiaw, Commandant of Senegal’s Centre for Advance Training of Mobile Gendarmerie, thanked the ECOWAS Commission and partners for their continued support and pledged the commitment of the institutions to deliver on their mandate.
The signing of the MoU and PIA at the Commission’s Abuja headquarters on 8 February 2013 marked the end of the two-day Joint Coordination Meeting (JCM) between officials of the Commission and the training institutions.