Not less than 14,500 persons have been killed by terrorists while 5.5 million were displaced across the West African region in the past four years, according to the regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
This was disclosed by the outgoing President of the commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, while handing over to the incoming President, Dr Omar Alieu Touray, on Wednesday in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
Brou, who is now in line to take over as the Governor of the West African Bank, said the situation has deteriorated in the past four years and urged the incoming President to do more to curtail the spread of terrorism in the region.
“First of all, the deterioration of the security situation has caused havoc not only in the Sahel area, affecting Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and the North-East of Nigeria, but it soon expanded to the coastal zone, hitting Côte d’Ivoire, Benin and Togo,” Brou said.
“Terrorist attacks and herds of bandits plunged these countries into mourning, with close to 14,500 dead in four and a half years, threatening the peace of rural population, and forcing people to seek shelter away from their home areas.
“Thus, the number of refugees and internally displaced people in our region reached about 5.5m persons who are in need of humanitarian assistance.”
The outgoing Brou said the ECOWAS commission has reached out to provide assistance to many of them, as well as to victims of natural disaster
The commission, Brou said, had reached out to provide assistance to many of the affected people and victims of natural disasters, while urging citizens of the region to remain united and extend their support to the incoming management.
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