In pursuit of regional integrated security and defense, ECOWAS in partnership with the United States government announced the establishment of Regional Security framework which stipulates that Member States undertake to work to safeguard and consolidate relations conducive to the maintenance of peace and security in the region.
To this effect, the Government of the Republic of Liberia, like other member states, issued Executive Order Number 76 in July 2016 to establish the National Centre for the Coordination of Early Response Mechanism (NCCERM) consistent with Article 58 (F) of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty (1993) on Regional Security.
In furtherance of the implementation of the regulations of the NCCERM as adopted by the Authority of Head of State and Government, the NCCERM is to be situated within the offices of the Vice President of Liberia with other agencies constituting its statutory Board for the purpose of effective and efficient oversight.
Security safeguard is not new, but its practice and the manner in which states and organisations respond are constantly changing with time, innovation and technological capacity.
This revised mandate should give a renewed impetus to assigning not just a dedicated role to the structures residing in member states, but resources that will first ripen manpower, logistics and technological advancement requires running a contemporary integrated security system towards achieving desire objectives of the program.
For this region, research, investigation, military, Police operations and policymaking have produced a new understanding of the security threat with specific focus on terrorism/violent extremism and poverty across fragile states.
These two have undermined the nature of the international security programs and deliverables.
Undeniably, NCCERM appears to be a good mechanism to combat terrorism and violent extremism.
The continuous threat of terrorism and violent extremism in the region, as well as the growing capacity of terrorist organizations to fund their operations through criminal activities remains a challenge to our regional security strategy.
In order to respond to these developments, ECOWAS sub-committee in member states need to stress the need to activate its sub-sections on counter-terrorism with trained man power and an up to date counter terrorism research center, and to operationalize the ECOWAS special Fund on Prevention and Combating of Terrorism.
This will help member states, especially fragile states renew support to internal intelligence networks that appear to be unsophisticated for variance reasons, and procure modern logistics for effective gathering of information and processing which will result into outcomes that benefit member states and the region as a whole.
Emmanuel David Togba,