African countries to fight terrorism with intelligence sharing

Ghana is hosting a strategic intelligence conference that is aimed at forming an African-based security network that would engage in the sharing of intelligence to fight terrorism and other transnational crimes.

The meeting comes as Europe struggles with illegal migration of Africans using North Africa as a route to southern Europe, while Africa also battles with terrorism attacks mainly in the West Africa by Boko Haram, and Al-Shabaab and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

More than 20 African countries and European countries are participating in the conference organized by the Africa-Frontex Intelligence Community (AFIC), an intelligence sharing platform between Europe and Africa.

Speaking at the conference, the Minister of Interior, Mr Prosper Bani said the proliferation of terrorist acts is of a major concern in the West African sub region.

“We have observed with horror, the despicable actions of Boko Haram in Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroun and Mali and recently on account of the serious terrorist attacks suffered by Burkina Faso, the West African sub- region is on high alert and Ghana is no exception,” he said.

He said terrorism and other transnational crimes, such as human and drug trafficking, can only be fought effectively through joint international efforts and that sharing intelligence was a vital factor.

He noted that government is taking the necessary steps to resource the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to enable it build the needed capacity to gather intelligence as the frontline security agency.

“To further advance national security, the GIS will from next week begin an intense and continued monitoring of hotels to ensure compliance with the law requiring operators of such facilities to provide information on non Ghanaians who lodge in their facilities”, he maintained.

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This, according, to the minister, is in direct response to the terrorist attack in Burkina Faso and other security dynamics.

In an interview with Onua FM, the Director General of the GIS, Mr Felix Yaw Sarpong said the passage of the Immigration Service Bill, which among others gives the GIS legal backing to carry arms, would strengthen the service in ensuring that the country’s porous borders are well protected.

“We have installed CCTV cameras along the country’s borders to monitor movements of person’s to ensure that undocumented migrants do not enter the country especially as the country prepares for general elections in November,” the director of GIS said.

Source:|Ghana by Nii Okai Tetteh