-ECOPARL Committee Recommendations in Dakar-
The regional discussion of joint committee of ECOWAS parliament (ECOPARL) wants member countries yet to ratify African union – Kampala convention on the protection and assistance to displaced persons to do so urgently for the respect of human rights.
This is one of the nine recommendations of the committee’s meeting in Dakar which will be submitted to the parliament at plenary in May in Abuja.
The speaker of parliament, Moustapha Cisse Lo who declared the meeting closed lauded the joint committee and resource persons for contributing ideas for the protection of human rights in crisis areas.
The committee urged the 15 member countries to adopt a specific national legislation for refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants in accordance with international standard with a view to making protection more effective and to boost search for lasting solution to the problem of victims of crisis.
The committee called for continuous training and sensitization of Armed Forces in the area of respect for human rights.
lt added that the code of conduct of the ECOWAS Armed Forces could serve as a reference framework. Also, it recommended the development of the technical capabilities and investment of available budgetary and logistical allocation for the investigation and prosecution of abuses.
The joint committee called on Human Rights organizations, particularly Amnesty lnternational and Human Rights watch to be impartial and consult with the authorities of member countries before reporting on the fight against terrorism or crisis.
In addition, it urged ECOWAS commission to embark on a comprehensive study to identify, classify and enumerate the rights of the stateless, lDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) and Refugees with a view to coming out with a comprehensive community policy on victims.
The Dakar meeting enjoined ECOWAS parliamentarians to be closer to the population in crisis via fact finding missions. The joint committee meeting was on the theme, Human Rights situation in areas affected by security crisis in West Africa.
The meeting featured paper presentations such as: “The challenges of respecting human rights in the fight against terrorism -perspective of the Armed and security Forces: Case study of Nigeria and the multinational task force against Boko Haram“ presented by retired Commander Manu Yagdah.
“Case of the G5 Sahel countries against al-Qaeda and its Allies” presented by former Chief of Malian Army and former ECOWAS Commissioner for political affairs, peace and security, General Mahamane Toure, among others.
By Joseph Orok, NTA, Abuja