The Honourable Vice President, Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, has on the 13th September 2021 called on early warning centres in West Africa especially the centre in Nigeria to increase vigilance on vulnerability assessment.
Vice President Jalloh explained that the rationale behind the vigilance is to see how the slow-motion impact of COVID-19 will increase fragility and potential social problems in the sub-region. The centre, Vice President Jalloh maintained should focus attention on the slow-motion impact of COVID-19 across the region.
The Vice President made the appeal during the official opening of the National Early Warning and Response Mechanism Coordinating Centre (NEWRMC)-Sierra Leone at State House in Freetown.
Vice President Jalloh informed about the progressive loss of jobs, livelihood support, and collapse of border communities due to COVID-19.
“Border communities that used to be active economic outlets are today dead,” Dr Jalloh reiterated, adding that such a situation has the tendency to increase criminality and criminal transactions. Vice President Jalloh described the opening of the centre as timely and vital within the sub-region, stressing the need for the centre to position itself for the post COVID recovery period in Sierra Leone.
Vice President Jalloh stated that the concept of NEWRMC was embedded into the strategic framework of early warning response mechanisms of member States adding that the framework was adopted in Ghana in July 2014 by ECOWAS (Economic Community of West Africa States) Heads of States.
Vice President Jalloh said that the Government of Sierra Leone is optimistic that such a mechanism will support peace and security architecture in Sierra Leone to contribute to sustainable peace, human security, and economic development within the sub-region. He further expressed hope that the early warning centre will partner with Ministries, Departments and Agencies; development partners; civil society organizations to monitor and coordinate response in areas such as crime, criminality, environment, security, good governance and human rights.
Vice President Jalloh expressed optimism to receive official alerts, reports, analyses, and timely responses from threats from the centre. Dr Jalloh encouraged the management of the centre for an effective collaborative method that will enable the centre to detect, identify, and report indicators of potential threats to human security as well as designing appropriate response mechanisms. He thanked the ECOWAS Commission and development partners for the establishment of the centre.
The President of ECOWAS Commission His Excellency Jean Claude Kassi Brou stated that the launching of the centre shows strong determination by President Bio to promote human security in Sierra Leone and West Africa. He lauded President Bio on behalf of the ECOWAS community for his constant and firm commitment to promote peace and security in the ECOWAS sub-region.
President Brou explained that the regional early warning mechanism was set up by ECOWAS Heads of States and Government for the Protocol relating to the mechanism for conflict prevention, management, resolution and peace. He informed that the Protocol was signed in Togo, Lome in December 1999, adding that the objective of the Protocol is to support the region to mitigate response to challenges to human security. The Programme was climaxed with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
(C) The Calabash Newspaper