The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission yesterday lamented that no fewer than 14,500 people have been killed by terrorists in the sub-region.
According to the outgoing President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, the figure was recorded in just four and a half years.
He also revealed that the number of refugees within the region seeking humanitarian assistance stood at 5.5 million.
Kassi Brou who is to assume the position of the Governor of the West African bank, spoke in Abuja during the handover of power to the new management of the Commission led by President Omar Alieu Touray.
Kasi Brou said: “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. Terrorist attacks and herds of bandits plunged these countries into mourning, with close to 14,500 dead in four and 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 5,500,000 persons who are in need of humanitarian assistance.”
He however said the Commission had reached out to provide assistance to many of them, as well as to victims of natural disasters.
He added that a regional action plan to combat terrorism in the region was followed. Brou, however said the plan would require sustained commitment including financial support from member states for it to be successful.
From The Shadows Emerges Knowledge