Centre suggests inclusive approach to counter threats of violent extremism

 The National Counter Terrorism and Fusion Centre of the Ministry of National Security, has suggested in­clusive approach to counter threats of violent extremism.

It explained that the nation, in recent times, faced looming threat from violent extremists following increased activities of terrorist groups in the Sahel and the West Africa sub region, especially its neighbouring countries of Burkina Faso and Mali.

“For instance, Burkina Faso, is said to have accounted for 58 per cent of all terrorist attacks record­ed in the Sahel Region in 2021 and threats of terrorist attack on the country has reached an alarming level,” the Centre cautioned.

Dr Baba Sayuti, Principal An­alyst at the Centre, who made the suggestion, stated that the threat of eminent terrorist attack on the country called for an all-inclusive approach by all state actors to com­bat the threat.

Speaking at a National Commis­sion for Civic Education (NCCE’s) dialogue on ‘Violent Extremism Prevention and Containment in Ghana’, in Accra, he pointed out that “lack of collaboration among state agencies and institutions especially security agencies over the years has allowed terrorist groups to exploit such gaps to carry out their operations.

“The use of force to combat violent extremism and terrorism has yielded no significant outcome so there is the need for adoption of tactful approach to curb the threat because despite the use of force by countries in the Sahel and West Af­rica sub region, terror groups con­tinue to wield significant influence, dictating acquisitions, policies, and reactions within security sectors,” Dr Sayuti warned.

Afua Lamptey, Deputy Pro­gramme Head, Conflict Man­agement Programme, Faculty of Economic Affairs, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre, decried arms proliferation in the sub region and Ghana in particu­lar remained major setback to the fight against violent extremism and terrorism.

She said globally, it was estimat­ed that about one billion firearms were in circulation and in Ghana, statistics available indicated 2.3

 million small arms and light weap­ons were in circulation nationwide, while there are about 200 local gun manufacturers currently operating in the country.

Kathleen Addy, Chairperson, NCCE, stressed the need for adop­tion of multidimensional approach to reduce the threat since the threat could not be addressed in isolation as it formed part of global network of dangerous non state actors determined to destabilise vulnera­ble states, seize control of natural resources and territories.

Colonel Joseph Merdiemah, Director, National Centre for Coordination and Early Warning Mechanism, called for timely dis­semination of early warning alerts to inform citizens on measures to take.

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