By Bukar Bolori
Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament Sidie Mohamed Tunis has condemned the violence in Sierra Leone which led to loss of lives, destruction of properties.
Tunis condemnation was made on Tuesday at the delocalized meeting of the Joint Committee on Political Affairs, Peace and Security, and APRM Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Social Affairs, Gender and Women Empowerment in Banjul, the capital of Gambia.
Speaking at the meeting with theme: “Community Texts relating to Peace, Security, Democracy and Good Governance: Challenges in their Implementation and the Oversight Role of ECOWAS Parliament,” Tunis who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, Adja Pinto call on all sides to adhere to the rule of law, which is the best path to channel and address grievances of every kind.
He said: ”Many democracies are having difficulties globally, in this present day, these failures are often attributed to the lack of trust and accountability. We are seeing regime change and reforms in many parts of the world. In Africa the fragility of our democracies is caused by electoral abuse, ethnic divisions, mismanagement of natural resources, poverty, and economic insecurity.
“There is a need for political will and action to counter these problems, and these are better achieved through our institutions. It is said that integration is about people. Indeed, it is high time our region derives the benefits.”
The speaker also commended the people of Senegal for successfully conducting a peaceful parliamentary elections on 31st July, congratulating all winners at the polls. He said ECOWAS Parliament looks forward to working with the membership of the new Senegal’s Parliament for the good of the sub region.
In his speech, the Gambian Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Mamadou Tangara said ECOWAS member states should collectively act swiftly to address the issues of insecurity and promote integration in the subregion.
He said: “As nations sharing the same destiny, we have a moral obligation and a collective responsibility to act swiftly to address all issues hampering the institutional advancement, the consolidation of peace, security and the empowerment of women who as the driving forces of the region.”
He added that: “Today, it is immensely gratifying to observe the overwhelming response of all partners and people of goodwill here present to affirm a faith in a common purpose, a common conviction and a common devotion in the consolidation of Peace, Security and Good Governance and other community achievements.”
In his opening remarks, Speaker of the National Assembly of The Gambia, Hon. Fabakary Jatta said that there is need for proactive intervention to curb insecurity in the subregion, noting that peace and security is the bedrock on which all development strives.