Youth urged not to be radicalised to become violent

Panellists at a dialogue on peace and violence extremism have called on the youth not to allow themselves to be radicalised by extremist groups or terrorists.

They charged the youth to commit to hard work and stop desiring for quick monies and rather concentrate on self-development to prepare them for future.

They said this at the 2nd Preventing Electoral Violence and Providing Security to the Northern Border Regions of Ghana (NorPrevSec) in Accra yesterday.

The event is organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), with support from the European Union (EU)

According to them, the youth should be given opportunities to serve in areas of their interest to prevent them from engaging in activities which would not help shape them for the future.

Mr Pieter Smidt Van Gelder, Deputy Head of Mission, EU, said violent extremism is one of the most significant global problems faced today and a common challenge for governments and civil society all over the world.

 According to him, such activities undermine international peace and security, “No corner of the globe remains untouched by the rise of this phenomenon.”

He said the issue of extremism is an increasing concern to the regional security agenda in West Africa and the Sahel.

“It is becoming a real and serious threat for Gulf of Guinea states, including Ghana which is seeking new partnerships in enhancing the effectiveness of their response to terrorism and violent extremism,” he said.

He further stated that EU would continue to support Ghana in her quest for ensuring peaceful electoral process in the country and to provide the most vulnerable communities with necessary tools to resolve their disputes.

“Large-scale civic education, sensitisation and awareness-raising campaigns on violence, threats, organisation of various inter-party dialogue rounds on peace, tolerance and armed violence are all essential to achieve these objectives,” he said.

On her part, Chairperson of NCCE, Miss Josephine Nkrumah, said as part of efforts to carry out its functions, the NCCE conducted a study on the Risk/Threat Analysis of Violent Extremism in Ten Border Regions of Ghana in 2020, under the European Union-sponsored project to the (NORPREVSEC).

“This study revealed unemployment, porous borders and poor surveillance as some of the major factors that make Ghana vulnerable to terrorist violence. With this background, NCCE launched the 1st Dialogue focused on the risks and threats of violent extremism”, she said.

She also added that this second dialogue would help create awareness on ways of identifying early warning signals of violent extremism, as well as peace-building mechanisms and measures to counter radicalisation of the youth.

BY AGNES OPOKU SARPONG & GRACE ACHEAMPONG

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