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Police urged to form patrol team to fight violent extremism

Cross section of participants during the event
Cross section of participants during the event

Representatives of various youth and interest groups in the Savelugu Municipality have urged the Savelugu District Police Command to form a patrol team to aid in surveillance of the area to prevent crimes and violent extremist activities.

They also urged transport operators and the Ghana Immigration Service in the municipality to regularly share relevant information on suspected violent extremist groups to help prevent such acts in the area.

They made the call at an engagement session at Savelugu organised by the Savelugu. Municipal Directorate of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to educate them on the threat of violent extremism and terrorism, and how they could contribute to prevent and contain it in the country.

The about 57 representatives were drawn from various youth and interest groups in the area including Ghana Private Road Transport Union, religious and traditional organisations amongst others.

The event was in line with the Preventing and Containing Violent Extremism project being implemented by the NCCE with funding from the European Union to strengthen state and non-state actors in the fight against violent extremism in the country.

The participants committed themselves to non-violent and peaceful co-existence in the area and pledged to sensitise members of their communities against being recruited by extremist groups to perpetrate violence.

They also pledged to promote social cohesion, peace and tolerance as well as committed themselves to forming community watchdog committees in their respective communities to protect and prevent violent extremist groups from operating in the area.

Superintendent Emmanuel Twumasi Ankrah, Savelugu District Police Commander, who took participants through topics such as community surveillance, awareness creation, possible signs of radicalism, neighbourhood watch/community patrol, what to do during attack amongst others, urged all to be vigilant in their communities to identify suspicious acts and characters.

Alhaji Suale Rabiu, Imam of Savelugu Central Mosque, spoke about peacebuilding mechanisms urging residents of the area especially the youth to promote peaceful coexistence and be one another’s keeper.

Mr. Jireel Alhassan, Savelugu Municipal Director of NCCE said preventing and containing violent extremism in the country and communities called for pragmatic measures such as public education and sensitisation, employment creation by both the government and the private sector, border security strengthening and eliminating political influence and interference in criminal issues.

Mr. Alhassan urged all to support efforts to prevent and contain the threat of violent extremism and terrorism in the area.

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