Border c’nities urge govt to intensify sensitisation to combat terrorism

Communities living along Ghana’s borders in the Upper East Region have called on the government and other stakeholders to intensify education and sensitisation on activities of terrorism and violent extremism to help combat the phenomenon.

That, they noted, would empower residents and traders along the borders with relevant information to detect and report early warning signals of terrorists’ attacks and violent extremism to the law enforcement agencies for action.

The communities said it would also enable them to be security conscious and work towards maintaining the prevailing peaceful co-existence, unity, harmony, cohesion and stability in the country and prevent any spillover from neighbouring countries.

The communities made the call at a three-day training workshop organised for selected Small and Medium Enterprises operators at Paga in the Kassena-Nankana West District who engage in cross border trade.

It was organised by the National Peace Council (NPC) with funding support and assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as part of efforts to equip cross border traders with early warning signs of terrorism and violent extremism and how to engage stakeholders to prevent spillover.

Within July 2022 alone, two terrorists’ attacks were recorded near Ghana’s borders at Mognori in Bawku and Paga and the situation is not only putting fear in residents in the border towns but scaring people from transacting their business across the border.

Nelson Akugre, an Internal Auditor, Naara Rural Bank, warned that neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, Togo, Niger and Mali had experienced terrorism and violent extremism and the phenomenon threatened the lives and livelihoods of border communities.

Edmund Alagpulinsa, a resident of Paga, cautioned that the country was at risk of terrorist attacks and violent extremism and when the border communities were compromised, it would spread across the country and the situation called for intensified community sensitisation, awareness creation and education.

Habiba Dauda, another participant, decried that Ghana’s borders were porous and called on the government to beef up security in such areas to act swiftly on any suspected activities and appealed to residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious characters to the law enforcement agencies to help prevent violent extremism and terrorism.

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