By Muhyideen Jimoh
Abuja – Security experts from the West-Africa sub-region have charged the government of Mali to fast track national dialogue and reconciliation initiatives in the country.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this formed part of the communique at the end of the maiden INTER RECs-RMs Peace and Security Forum: Policy Dialogue on Mali in Accra Ghana.
The call was made in statement signed by Mr Uwem Thompson of the ERERA-ECOWAS office in Accra on Tuesday.
He said the meeting was part of measures to find lasting solution to the insecurity situation in Mali.
The meeting was organised by the ECOWAS commission as part of an African continental agreement to initiate a platform for consultations among the Regional Economic Communities (REC) and Regional Mechanism (RM) to formulate and harmonise positions on peace and security.
The meeting also sought to ensure transparent and mutually beneficial relations with the African Union.
“The Mali government has been advised to continue with the security sector reform as well as the disarmament, demobilisation and re-integration process in Mali,’’ Thompson said.
Participants at the forum called on ECOWAS to re-assert its leadership in the coordination of efforts to restore peace and stability in the troubled West African state.
“Security stakeholders also want ECOWAS to support the Malian authorities to strengthen the capacity of the national army through training in counter terrorism and asymmetric warfare.
“The forum further recommended the improvement and strengthening of intelligence gathering and sharing between and among the security agencies of Member states in the region,’’ Thompson said.
Participants at the forum include ECOWAS, AU commission, African Standby Forces, UN Office for West Africa and Sahel, and Civil Society Organisations.
NAN reports that there has been increased spate of insecurity and terrorism in mainly the northern part of Mali in recent time.(NAN)