Some African countries are bearing the brunt of terrorism to the extent that it has affected social and economic life in those countries, Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister of National Security, has said.
He said it was on record that as at June 28, there had been 17 terrorist attacks on the continent resulting into 574 deaths and many injuries.
The Minister made these remarks at the First Senior Level Regional Course on the Prevention of Violent Extremism for the West Africa Region.
It was organised by the Swiss Embassy in Accra in partnership with the African Centre for Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) of the African Union with support from the Human Security Research Centre-Ghana.
Mr Kan-Dapaah said the activities of these terrorists who were creating a lot of misery and challenges for normal social life continued unabated which gives cause for alarm on the continent.
He said it was time that African countries collaborate and cooperate with one another to take pragmatic steps to arrest the deteriorating security situation in the Sahel and coastal West African zones where their activities were rampant.
He said innovative approach was the needed measure to curb terrorism and violent extremism adding that innovative approach was needed to maintain peace and security in Africa, particularly, the sub-region.
Mr Philipp Stalder commended the government for the attention it was giving to the search for lasting solutions to the multiple challenges facing the entire sub-region.
He said it was also commendable that at a time when the fears of terrorism and violent extremism have become prevalent in the sub region, African countries have found it prudent to rally resources to fight the canker.
Mr Stalder said when West African states were concerned about their security situation in the area and were looking for answers to the violence, then it was time to look more deeply into the question whether the causes of the violence have been sufficiently addressed.
Giving the circumstances that led to the birth of the course, he said, the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched the new programme in 2016 for the prevention of violence based on vision shared with the UN Secretary General that prevention should be prioritised, saying,”that requires our ability to address the various causes such as political economic, social and cultural issues that generate armed violence in our societies and maintain the spate of terror.
He said it was on this path the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs met with ACSRT which joined 30 partners for the programme has since worked adding that, through the initiative several thousand people have made violence prevention a path to be consolidated through dialogue.
Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, former UN Special Representative of the Secretary General, the UN Office of West Africa and the Sahel Region (UNOWAS) said terrorism and violence were usurpers of peace and security.
BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI