Chief Minister opens MRU sub-regional meeting on peace and security

Professor David Francis on Monday opened the four day Mano River Union (MRU) peace and security conference in collaboration with UNOWAS at the Golden Tulip Kimbima hotel. In his address he said the MRU states have often been characterized as volatile and the spillover effects of the past civil wars justified the establishment and operationalization of the joint border security and confidence building units for effective border security, and to prevent illegal movement of weapons, human trafficking, contraband drugs and criminals. “Therefore, the role of the joint border security and confidence building units is pivotal in maintaining peace and security from the community right to the national and sub-regional level within the MRU states.” Giving the keynote address, the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr Francis Kaikai said the reason for the formation of MRU was to facilitate trade and social mobilization across the countries. He said the government of Sierra Leone is looking forward to this joint meeting to develop proactive and effective policy initiatives to strengthen border security and prevent the movement across the borders of foreign terrorist fighters and their ideologies in the sub-region. “It should be recalled that, in accordance with the expressed directives of the Heads of States and government, the MRU has adopted a legal and regulatory framework, the 15th Revised Protocol, to deal with and promote all issues related to peace, security and stability within the Member states.”

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