ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff yesterday begun a three-day meeting in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia to review the security situation in West Africa and recommend means for improving peace and stability in the 15 Member States.
The Defence Chiefs who were formerly members of the Defence and Security Commission but now known as members of the Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff, will also consider reports on the status of implementation of the 6, 500-strong ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF), including updates on various aspects of training for the Force and the logistics concept workshop, which took place from 29th to 31st October 2007 in Abuja.
The Abuja workshop, attended by ECOWAS partners and logistics officers from Member States that pledged troops to the Standby Force, which also comprises a task force component of 1, 500 and a brigade of 5, 000, considered a draft document that will, when finalized, serve as a guide logistics management of the Force.
ECOWAS concern with building logistics capacity, among others, is to address such deficiencies as evident during its deployments in the 1990s in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and more recently, in Cote d’Ivoire.
The institution plans to conduct a logistics command post exercise and logistics field training exercise in October 2008 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
The Force Commanders of the United Nations missions in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and Liberia (UNMIL) will brief the Chiefs of Defence Staff, who are also to receive briefing on the recently held parliamentary elections in Togo.
One of the highlights of the Monrovia meeting will be presentation of medals to the ECOMOG Force Commander to Guinea Bissau and to the following four Member States Benin, The Gambia, Niger and Togo