CENTRAL, WEST AFRICA VULNERABLE TO SECURITY, ENVIRONMENTAL THREATS IN GULF OF GUINEA

LOME, TOGO– The sub-regions of Central Africa and West Africa, which share both land and sea borders are vulnerable to numerous security and environmental threats in the Gulf of Guinea, says President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe of Togo.

President Gnassingbe, who is also the acting Chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said here Monday that the threats included piracy, smuggling, illegal fishing, unregulated fishing and the dumping of toxic materials at sea.

Addressing the opening of a Joint Summit of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), he said the two sub-regions also suffered from other illegal cross-border activities, in particular the trafficking in firearms, people and drugs and money laundering.

According to President Gnassingbe, the geographic, socio-cultural and economic proximity between Central Africa and West Africa had created ties and influences at the level of the nations and peoples of the two sub-regions, making them share the same security problems.

“It is from this perspective that we are holding this summit with the firm will to create the conditions for a durable peace and a safe environment in the common area of the regions,” he said.

Other issues to be addressed, he said, included legal and judicial issues, extradition and co-operation in matters of criminal policy.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK