Guinea’s President Alpha Conde has called on the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) to consider banning the wearing of the full Islamic veil.
President Conde made the recommendation on Wednesday in a letter to the Ecowas Chairman and Senegalese President Macky Sall.
The Guinean leader lauded President Sall for banning the full veil in his country and urged him to introduce the Bill during the next Ecowas summit later this year in Abuja, Nigeria.
Heads of state
President Conde argued that “a close examination of the issue by heads of state would lead to a deeper reflection that will lead to the banning of the full veil in Ecowas space”.
He justified his recommendation that was published by the media in Senegal that “in many of our countries, terrorists were increasingly using the full veil to carry out criminal acts against peaceful citizens”.
President Conde cited the examples of Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon where women wearing the full veil were used by the Boko Haram to commit suicide attacks in public places.
In Senegal, it has been discovered that most of the women wearing the full veil were Guinean nationals.
Two weeks ago, President Sall banned the wearing of the full veil and this week announced a significant increase in the defence budget, prompted by persistent terror threats.
But several opposition and civil society representatives have been accusing President Sall’s government of raising an “unjustified alarm” against terrorists attacks.
But Foreign minister Mankeur Ndiaye had insisted that government was right to make provisions even for “unforeseeable circumstances” .
“The thing is happening at our doorstep, so are we wrong now by moving to forestall it,” he retorted recently.
Senegal is known to have several dormant Islamist extremist cells belonging to the different Muslim sects that were susceptible to carry out terrorist activities.
SOURCE: AFRICA REVIEW