Sub-Saharan Africa
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ECOWAS Requires Up to $2.6 Billion Yearly to Create Security Force Aimed at Combating Terrorism

© Photo Nigeria's Ministry of DefenseECOWAS Defense and Finance Ministers’ meeting in Abuja.
ECOWAS Defense and Finance Ministers’ meeting in Abuja. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 28.06.2024
The 2024 Global Terrorism Index reported that the epicenter of terrorism has "conclusively" moved from the Middle East and North Africa to the sub-Saharan African region, particularly within the Central Sahel region.
ECOWAS requires up to $2.6 billion annually to create a 5,000-member security force aimed at combating terrorism, according to Nigerian Defense Minister Mohammed Badaru Abubakar.
He informed the ECOWAS Defense and Finance Ministers’ meeting that there are two possible configurations for the regional force:
The first option involves a 5,000-strong brigade costing $2.6 billion per year;
The second one involves a force of 1,500 troops at a cost of $481 million annually.

"These figures underscore the gravity of the task before us," Abubakar said. "It is therefore imperative that we critically review the options, considering the current challenges confronting our region and the financial concerns facing our various members states," he was quoted as saying by media.

Abubakar also noted that the regional force's mandate would be restricted to counter-terrorism efforts, and each member state would be expected to contribute a specific quota.
Omar Touray, the head of the ECOWAS commission, reportedly stated that member countries that are now suspended (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Guinea) will still be included in the regional force.

"It is believed we cannot fight terrorism alone while others are not participating," Touray said. "Although other countries might be under suspension but they should be allowed to take part in meetings related to security, that is why we have invited all 15 member states to attend this crucial meeting."

A Nigerien soldier patrols as United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (not seen) visits an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Ouallam, Niger, on May 3, 2022 during his visit to the country. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 17.06.2024
Sub-Saharan Africa
Niger Reportedly to Recruit 10,000 Soldiers to Protect Oil and Uranium Fields From Terrorist Attacks
In 2023, the Sahel experienced nearly 4,000 deaths due to terrorism, accounting for 47% of the global total, according to the 2024 Global Terrorism Index report. Over the past 15 years, terrorism in the Sahel has surged dramatically, with deaths increasing by 2,860% and incidents rising by 1,266%. Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger suffered the brunt of the majority of terrorism-related deaths in the region.
However, in order to combat the threat of terrorism, the military leaders of the three states signed the Alliance of Sahel States (AES) charter in September 2023 to create a collective defense architecture. Russia supported the countries of the bloc by sending specialists to train the law enforcement agencies of AES member states in the fight against terrorism.