Deepen peace c’ttees to curb extremism – Kwesi Aning

The Director of Research, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Professor Kwesi Aning, has underscored that deepening and strengthening of peace committees within communities will help curb activities of extremists in the country.
He explained that empowering communities that were frontrunners in promoting peace, unity and security to understand the threat of terrorism would help to provide intelligence for security personnel for quick response.
“Strengthening and deepening peace, unity and harmony within committees should curb activities of extremists so as to maintain cohesion and ensure security towards safety of residents,” Prof. Aning stressed.
Addressing participants on Tuesday at this year’s New Year School and Conference in Accra on the topic: ‘COVID-19 and Global Peace and Security’, he urged authorities to put in place early warning mechanisms from the local to national levels for stakeholders to be able to identify and respond to issues of extremism on time to avoid catastrophic situations.
Prof. Aning commended the government for constituting security taskforce to ensure adherence to COVID-19 health and safety protocols during imposition of restrictions of human movement in 2020 which had helped in containing spread of the virus and ensuring peace, harmony and order in the country.
“There is the need for collaboration to deal with extremism and transnational security issues and the security agencies must put out strategies to avert spread of extremism, which is gaining prominence in the country.
“The current focus on counterterrorism is necessary but agencies still need to develop new approaches to safeguard internal peace, cohesion and stability in reference to increasing extremist attacks in neighbouring countries.
“This is due to having them on their radar so authorities must deepen and strengthen intelligence gathering systems since the country over the years trivialised extremism and done little to ameliorate instances likely to instigate attacks,” Prof. Aning warned.
He appealed to the citizenry not to relax on peaceful atmosphere and look on unconcerned about violent elements gaining grounds in some communities and suggested continuous collaboration to reinforce relationships among member-states to learn from best and worse practices to ensure safety of all in the sub-region.
Prof. Aning cautioned that the coup in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Guinea Bissau should be wakeup call for African leaders to learn to address concerns of the masses in time. -GNA

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