Abuja: major success for the first regional meeting of the African Task Force

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On September 4th, the Budapest Centre met with key departments within ECOWAS to discuss the West African chapters of the African Task Force on the Prevention of Mass Atrocities. The Budapest Centre was represented at the meeting by Gyorgy Tatar, Chair of the Centre, Enzo Maria Le Fevre Cervini, Director of Research and Cooperation, and Tommaso Trillò, Junior Researcher. Mark Whitlock, Research coordinator of the African Task Force, and Oury Traore, Senior Researcher of the African Task Force, were also present.

The meeting enjoyed the invaluable participation of Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security.

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Ms. Suleiman introduced the session by confirming the interest of ECOWAS in supporting the work of the African Task Force and its broader commitment to the cause of mass atrocity prevention.

Her speech was followed by a short presentation by Gyorgy Tatar on the work of the Budapest Centre and the progress of the African Task force.

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The floor was then handed to Mark Whitlock and Oury Traore, who brilliantly expanded on the West African chapters of the African Task force, presenting the preliminary findings and setting the stage for discussion with the participants.

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Discussion was moderated by Whitlock and Dr. Abdou-Lat Gueye, Director of the Early Warning Department within ECOWAS.

Discussion in the afternoon session was particularly fruitful, insofar as it allowed to better inform the research on the West African region to be part of the final report of the African Task Force and also opened the way to new avenues for collaboration between the Budapest Centre and ECOWAS.

The Budapest Centre wishes to thank the ECOWAS Early Warnings Directorate for their availability to partake in the meeting, and Commissioner Suleiman for her kind participation.

The Centre looks forward to a fruitful cooperation with ECOWAS in the context of the African Task Force and beyond.