WINNING THE WAR AGAINST TERRORISM TOGETHER

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Terrorism, which has reared its ugly head in the West African sub region, is really posing a lot of threats to our peace and survival as a people.

For those of us in Ghana, it becomes even more nerve-wracking, as incidents are recorded in our neighbouring countries.

Though Ghana as a nation is yet to experience any terrorist attack, what is happening around us tends to create genuine fears that we may not be too far from such experiences.

That is why the call on the citizenry to partner the government in its effort at averting such attacks becomes very critical at this moment.

Ensuring that we promptly alert and report suspicious activities is one of the most useful things we can do to help our security services in fighting terrorism.

Genuine concern

Yesterday, at a press conference, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, gave the indication that the issue of terrorism and piracy has become a headache for the current administration.

“In the few months, nations that share borders with Ghana, including Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire, have experienced series of terrorist attacks, with the recent one on June 5 where about 160 people were killed in Yagha Province in Burkina Faso bordering Niger.

“The Akufo-Addo Administration has, in the last four years, worked hard in putting in place measures to ensure our boarders are safe from these attacks. Nonetheless, there is the need to do more and we want to assure the Ghanaian public that we will tighten measures to ensure the safety of the Ghanaian people,” he said.

More work

We commend the government for the various efforts it has put in place in dealing with the threat of terrorism, including the development of a national counter-terrorism strategic framework geared towards the fight against this menace.

While we give that commendation, we also call on the government to work on the porous borders of the country, which could offer easy access to these miscreants to enter the country to carry out some of their nefarious activities.

Another critical thing to look at is to join hands with the nations around us to identify and address the very factors that push these miscreants to do what they do against humanity.

Armed attacks on civilians are rapidly increasing, and ethnic tensions have been inflamed and exploited by terrorist groups to boost their ranks.

Together

To reduce the risk of further terrorist encroachment on West Africa, urgent action is needed from regional bodies. The present situation is unlikely to be resolved by one actor alone.

Policymakers in the region need better intelligence – both local knowledge and research and analysis – on the decision-making capabilities as well as our efforts.

International partners such as the United Nations should support ECOWAS in sharing timely intelligence and coordinating efforts to disrupt terrorist groups in their efforts to cross borders.

The issue of terrorism is certainly becoming a complex threat to our collective peace and survival. But we can win this war through effective collaboration with all the relevant stakeholders in the sub-region and across the world.

 

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