Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) leaders have been urged to ban the wearing of full-face veils by Muslim women as part of an effort to limit the growing number of Boko Haram female suicide bombings.
The Independent Television and Radio reported that the ECOWAS President, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, told reporters at the close of a two-day summit in Abuja that countries should enforce the ban “in line with what he described as the country’s national realities.”
The move would forbid dress that prevents security personnel from being able to identify women.
Boko Haram jihadists have since July been using young women and girls as suicide bombers by hiding explosives in their loose-fitting clothes.
Congo Republic, Senegal and Cameroon have all banned the wearing of full-face veils in public.
However, given the differences in security challenges of countries in the region, countries like The Gambia might have little excuse to ban the use of full face veil.