‘Let’s work to avert violent extremism

The Principal Analyst for the National Counter Terrorism and Fusion Centre of the Ministry of National Security, Dr Baba Sayuti, has cautioned that the threat of eminent terrorist attack on the country calls for an all-inclusive approach by all state actors to combat the threat.

“Ghana, in recent times, faces 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 but Burkina Faso, for instance, is said to have accounted for 58 per cent of all terrorist attacks recorded in the Sahel Region in 2021,” he said.

Dr Sayuti explained that threats of terrorist attack on the country had reached an alarming level, but the lack of collaboration among state agencies and institu­tions especially security agencies over the years had allowed terror­ist groups to exploit such gaps to carry out their operations.

Speaking at a National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) dialogue on ‘Violent Ex­tremism, Prevention and Contain­ment in Accra, he observed that after 9/11, the world realised that there was a gap between state agen­cies in the area of collaboration but despite the might and resources of the US they were attacked and attributed that to institutions not working together.

The objective of the nation­al dialogue was to engage all key stakeholders to build strong coalition to prevent spillover of violent extremism, terrorism into the country, provide an experience sharing platform to build synergies, share best practices and reduce duplication of activities.

It forms part of a series of activities the Commission has undertaken in its implementation of the Preventing and Containing Violent Extremism (PCVE) proj­ect, funded by the European Union Rapid Response team.

Afua Lamptey, Deputy Pro­gramme Head, Conflict Man­agement Programme, Faculty of Economic Affairs, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre, stated that arms proliferation in the sub region and Ghana in particular remained a major setback to the fight against violent extremism and was estimated that one billion firearms were in circulation.

Kathleen Addy, Chairperson of NCCE, recommended adoption of multidimensional approach to reduce the threat since the threat the nation faced could not be addressed in isolation as it formed part of bigger global network of dangerous non-state actors determined to destabilise vulnera­ble States, seize control of natural resources as well as territories.

Colonel Kelvin Merdiemah, Director, National Centre for Coordination and Early Warning Mechanism, stressed the need for timely dissemination of early warning alerts to inform the citi­zenry on measures to take.

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