The Director, Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Professor Kwesi Aning, has said fear-mongering and the deliberate misinterpretation of facts and figures does not help in building a resilient society against potential terrorist attacks.
He explained that terrorism in some West African countries are happening because the domestic imperatives have created an enabling environment that allows the violence to take place.
“Extremist violence that we are seeing in Nigeria, in Togo, in Benin in Burkina Faso, in Mali, in Niger and elsewhere, only take place because the domestic imperatives have created an enabling environment that allows the violence to take place.
“But fear mongering, and the deliberate misinterpretation of facts and figures will not help us in building this resilient society,” he said.
“You and I don’t have anywhere to run to if we allow something like that to take place, we don’t speak French, , we don’t have the money to resettle, we can’t swim, our European friends don’t want us as refugees, they have taken their money for development away when the Ukrainian war started, let that be a lesson to all of us that we don’t have anywhere to go apart from creating the conditions that allows stability, peace and development to take place,” he said while delivering an address on the theme “The Scourge of Extremism in the Sub-region, Threats to Ghana’s Security, Stability and Socio Economic Development” on Thursday July 28.
It is recalled that a report released by the West Africa Centre for Counter Extremism (WACCE) released recently said Ghana has managed so far to stay safe from terrorist attacks on home soil, yet the country has been so close to terrorism.
Already, the report said, more than 13 Ghanaians are believed to have travelled to fight with terrorist groups since 2015. Up to twenty three (23) others have been dissuaded from leaving to join extremist groups.
“Ghana’s first recorded case was Nazir Alema Nortey3 , a young university graduate, who shockingly left the country in august 2015 to join ISIS before sending a message back to his parents to announce his new found cause.
“He was killed in Syria by April 2016. Professor Kofi Awoonor, a renowned Ghanaian poet and academic, was killed in the West Gate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya when Al Shabab fighters besieged the mall in 2013,” the report said.
The threat has been menacingly and quickly spread, occurring through a spill over phenomenon, has ravaged the Northern borders of not only Burkina Faso but also of Ivory Coast, Benin and Togo recently. With all its direct neighbors under attacks, Ghana has descending from the Sahel towards Coastal States in the last five years.
“Even though the fatality numbers are presently down from the peak of over 7,200 in the region in 2014, the threat has increased in complexity and geographical spread. Today 53% of all ECOWAS now been encircled by the threat. These developments are dangerous for Ghana.
“Ghana’s proximity to these countries (Burkina Faso to the North, Benin and Togo to the East and Ivory Coast to the West) exposes the country to extremist recruitment or attacks or both,” it added.
It further stated that the “unending Bawku chieftaincy conflict, the ethnic tensions in Northern Ghana and the unresolved challenge of Western Togoland separatists in the Eastern border regions amplify the risks.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana