Mauritania: new crisis management centre

Report
from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
Published on 12 Feb 2015 View Original

The Secretary General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Decentralisation, Mohamed El Hady Macina, chaired the inauguration in Nouakchott of the Mauritanian centre for crisis monitoring, alerts and management (centre de veille, d'alerte et de conduite des crises - COVACC) on 29 January 2015.

The centre forms an integral part of a national crisis management and disaster monitoring mechanism. The project will start off by covering Nouakchott, Nouadhibou, Rosso and Néma before being rolled out to the rest of the country.

Mr Mohamed El Hadi Macina said that it was, "a one-of-a-kind initiative in the region". He stressed that the centre was all the more important as it had been set up in a global context characterised by increasing terrorism, climate change-related disasters, epidemics, drought and industrial accidents threatening people and goods.

The project is funded equally by NATO and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and has helped:

  • set up a national centre for crisis monitoring, alerts and management (COVACC);
  • give more power to the regional directorates for civil protection, each with an operational coordination centre (centre de coordination opérationnelle - CCO);
  • link the national and regional crisis-management levels by creating a permanent connection between national and regional centres.

This new centre will help reduce vulnerability to the various risks and threats, thereby strengthening the population's sense of security and helping fight the spread of terrorism in particular, as well as developing better national responsiveness to emergencies and improving coordination between national, regional and local actors. This is a one-of-a-kind initiative in the region and is considered as a reference for the various Sahel countries, who have expressed an interest in setting up similar systems to strengthen regional coordination.

It helps reinforce territorial continuity, thereby covering partially isolated areas which are at risk of falling under the influence of terrorist or extremist organisations.