Xenophobia, Threat to Economic Cooperation in Africa —ECOWAS

The Economic Community of West African States has said the xenophobic attacks in South Africa had no place in its vision for the continent.

The ECOWAS President, Jean Kasi-Brou, while condemning the attacks, said cooperation and integration went beyond national and regional levels.

Responding to questions from journalists in Abuja on Thursday, Kasi-Brou said the violence against foreign nationals was a threat to economic cooperation in the continent.

He said this against the backdrop of the visit of the Chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government, who is also President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou, who was on a working visit to meet with staff members of the ECOWAS Commission.

He called for a dialogue to resolve the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

The ECOWAS President said ”Any issue can be resolved through dialogue, cooperation, discussions as long as it is positive and constructive which is important in the situation because African nations are not only working on the regional but also the continental level under the African Union umbrella for the full integration of the regions of the continent.”

Kasi-Brou also spoke on security challenges and insurgency confronting the West African sub region.

”Overall security, especially terrorism is a critical challenge in the region and many member countries are facing strong pressures from terrorists’ activities which was why the Authority of Heads of States decided to hold an extraordinary summit on terrorism in the region which will take place in Burkina Faso on September 14, 2019.

”It is not the matter of one country but a whole region. We are looking to address it as we look forward to meeting,” he said.

Issoufou noted that the challenge of insecurity in the region posed a great threat and could undermine the development of member countries.

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