The Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) has agreed to deploy troops to Guinea Bissau to maintain peace in the troubled nation.
ECOWAS’ decision was a fallout of the refusal by the military junta which sacked the civilian government to quit office and restore the country’s constitution.
This was disclosed by Nigeria’s Defence Minister, Haliru Mohammed in a chat with State
House correspondents shortly after a meeting of the ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff (CDS) with
President Jonathan at the State Bouse.
The minister said: “You know our sub-region is plagued with challenges of insecurity and also instability in
some of the countries. The CDS are here to discuss how the intervention of ECOWAS will help
to bring security and to stabilise any country where instability is rearing its heads. This is on the
instruction of the Heads of States of ECOWAS.”
On Guinea Bissau,he stated that
“ECOWAS is sending one battalion but the contribution of Nigeria will depend on when we are invited.”
On Mali, it was also learnt that ECOWAS was yet
to take a decision on whether or not it would send troops to the beleaguered nation.
Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Oluseyi Petinrrin, who was on the delegation to Jonathan said his men are battle-ready once the political leaders give them the marching orders.
Petinrin noted that tremendous progress had been made in
resolving the political crises in the two countries due to ECOWAS’ intervention.