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Reading: Sierra Leone to Host ECOWAS Stabilisation Force Headquarters Starting January 2024
Reading: Sierra Leone to Host ECOWAS Stabilisation Force Headquarters Starting January 2024

Sierra Leone to Host ECOWAS Stabilisation Force Headquarters Starting January 2024

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Sierra Leone is set to host the ECOWAS stabilisation force headquarters starting January 2024, according to the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Timothy Kabbah. The force will be situated at the former Lungi International Airport and will function as a stabilisation and peacekeeping entity, distinct from an intervention force. The primary objective of this initiative is to foster and sustain democracy within the region, with a parallel mission already established in The Gambia and Guinea Bissau by ECOWAS. Sierra Leone will now serve as the central hub for the ECOWAS peacekeeping force, coordinating regional efforts to address conflicts and promote stability 1.

Unlike an intervention force, the ECOWAS stabilisation force will not impede the autonomy of individual military forces in member countries. Instead, it will collaborate with national forces, operating in synergy to uphold democracy. This strategic move has been in the works since the aftermath of the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and its official implementation in January 2024 is expected to play a crucial role in curbing the surge of coups and insecurity across the ECOWAS region 1.

President Bola Tinubu, the current ECOWAS chairman, expressed optimism about the positive impact of the stabilisation force. During the 64th ECOWAS summit held in Abuja, he highlighted the potential for improved governance and leadership, foreseeing a reduction in the prevalence of coups and enhanced security within the region 1.

The selection of Sierra Leone as the headquarters reflects the country’s commitment to regional stability and peace. The old Lungi International Airport, now repurposed, will house the force’s operations, symbolizing a strategic location for efficient coordination

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