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ECOWAS, institute to factor way against arm proliferation, terrorism financing

By Abdulwaheed Usamah,

As part of measure toward controlling activities terror groups and other affiliates, the Economic Countries of West African States (ECOWAS) and National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS) have said that they would be collaborating to co-ordinate legislative action on containment of small arms proliferation and terrorism financing.

In a statement issued by the later on Tuesday, the two bodies agreed to work together so as to stem root of terrorism financing and that arm proliferation.

The  Communication Adviser to the Director -General,  NILS,  Kanayo Nwajei, stated that lawmakers and other key stakeholders would meet by December 7 for a meeting to discuss on small arms proliferation and terrorist financing.

Through the statement, the body It stated that the partnership between both parties is aimed at harmonizing laws on the security challenges within the sub-region.

According to it, the collaboration is coming against the background that terrorism-related violence, illegal proliferation of small arms and light weapons have continued to assume a most dangerous dimension and a nightmarish proportion across the sub-region.

It said, “this narrative is reinforced by this scenario from Liberia and Sierra Leone in the 1990s, and in recent years, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria, it has been regional violence and conflict and the sad stories of sorrows, tears and blood.

“As the issue of terrorism, insurgency, small arms and conflict in the sub-region take centre-stage during this Parliamentary Conference, it justifies the compelling imperative on the 15-member states to articulate legislative actions to contain illegal proliferation of small arms and light weapons and terrorist financing.”

The conference seeks to harmonise policies and laws and strengthen regulatory frameworks and legislations to facilitate the reduction of cross boarder crimes and terrorism.

The conference would have more than 200 participants drawn from the ECOWAS Parliament, Select-members of security related committees of some national parliaments of ECOWAS member states in attendance.

Other participants are the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and members of the diplomatic corps as well as civil society organisations.

The Conference is organised by the National Institute for Legislative Studies and funded by the African Capacity Building Foundation.

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