West African leaders adopt joint peace, security policy

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The presidents the eight-member of West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) have adopted a joint peace and security policy to deal with common challenges in the region.

The policy deal was adopted at the 17th summit held in the Senegalese capital Dakar.

The presidents signed an additional act instituting a joint policy peace and security.

“The presidents have instructed the relevant organs and institutions to make the regional peace and security framework operational for the sake peace of people within the union,’’ the final communique said.

has hit most the UEMOA members in recent years, with Mali, Guinea Bissau and Niger coming through coups, Cote d’Ivoire a post- conflict and Togo and Senegal election- related violence.

In Mali, Al-Qaida’s North African branch AQIM and other rebel groups occupied the desert north in the aftermath the coup on March 22, 2012, before driven out in January 2013.

On the economic front, UEMOA countries hailed the proposals formulated to mobilise resources to fund activities in the union. “Given the huge demand for infrastructure funding, the presidents also asked the union’s institutions to maintain a debt ceiling, while ensuring the debt is sustainable,’’ the statement added.

The UEMOA leaders expressed willingness to reinforce the union’s economic performance, under the regional Vision 2020 economic blueprint.

They also agreed to set up a regional civil aviation safety agency and establish a cultural development institution the bloc.

At the summit, Beninese President Boni Yayi was elected as the chairman the union to replace his Togolese counterpart Faure Gnassingbe.

UEMOA comprises Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.