A Ghanaian official on Thursday urged urgent and robust cooperation among countries to combat and overcome the twin threats of violent extremism and terrorism in West Africa.
Ghanaian Minister of National Security Albert Kan-Dapaah made this call in his keynote address at the opening of a two-day non-state actors conference on the Accra Initiative, a security cooperation initiative among some littoral West African countries.
“From a security perspective, the Sahel and the entire West African region are going through a difficult moment in history due to the ongoing rapid spread of terrorism and violent extremism,” the minister noted.
“The geo-strategic dynamics of terrorism and violent extremism, with direct influence on state survival, keep mutating without warning. The threat posed by COVID-19 has also taught us that consolidating our efforts at the regional level is the best approach to secure our states,” he added.
Kan-Dapaah said dialogue and multi-stakeholder engagements at national and regional levels were critical in finding lasting solutions to the common security threats of West African states.
He said recent incursions by some terrorist groups into some littoral West African states were signs of the spread of terrorism from the Sahel region to coastal West Africa. “The Accra Initiative is critical to countering terrorism in the littoral West African States.”
The Accra Initiative was established in September 2017 to enhance intelligence and security cooperation between intelligence and security agencies of member states. Ghana, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo and Niger are the current members of the Accra Initiative.
“Its formation was necessitated by the urgent need to address the deteriorating security situation in the Sahel region and curb the southward drift of the threat of terrorism to coastal West African States,” Kan-Dapaah added. Enditem