The Deputy Commandant, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra, Air Commodore George Arko-Dadzie has stated that sustained and committed partnerships among stakeholders are critical needs to addressing increasing terrorism and extremism in the Sahel and West Africa.
Terrorists and violent extremists, he noted, exploit the latent ethnic animosities and the absence of state presence in some of these border towns and local communities where most vulnerable groups are located.
Air Commodore Arko-Dadzie said this at the opening of the fifth and final course in the series of the ‘Specialized Course on Preventing Violent Extremism’ in Tamale, for the technical staff of the National Peace Council in the Northern part of Ghana.
The course, run by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre with sponsorship from the USAID, seeks to prepare the Regional Peace Councils to be able to identify vulnerabilities to violent extremism; identify warning signs of violent extremist threats; and lead broader community mobilization in Preventing Violent Extremism.
The 14 selected regional peace council members and technical staff, as part of the course are expected to develop and implement action plans that build resilience to violent extremism in their districts and local communities in the Northern, Savannah, Upper East and Upper West regions.
According to Air Commodore Arko-Dadzie, the security apparatus of Ghana, is increasingly, being challenged by the threat of violent extremism coming from Burkina Faso and the Sahel which continue to spread downward and are creeping towards the coastal regions.
“There is no doubt that violent extremism continues to pose daunting security challenges to the Ghanaian government, and also undermines peace and security in the Sahel and neighbors of the Sahel,” the Deputy Commandant of the KAIPTC stated, adding “this therefore calls for building the resilience of local towns and communities to prevent recruitment and radicalization of these groups.”
Deputy Country Representative, USAID/OTI Littorals Regional Initiative, Ms. Dalia Haj-Omar opened the specialized course.
Under the USAID funded programme – the Littorals Regional Initiative (LRI) – the USAID/Office of Transitional Initiatives, seeks to shore up stability and prevent violent extremism in the Coastal countries, including Ghana, Togo and Benin.
This quick-response mechanism; supports local counterparts across five West African coastal countries to withstand the increasing pressures of violent extremist organizations by addressing instability factors including conflict, weak social cohesion, and governance deficits.
LRI is working with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) to support the Regional Peace Councils (RPCs) in building their resilience against violent extremism through capacity building training.
The training will also prepare the Regional Peace Councils to be able to identify vulnerabilities to violent extremism; identify warning signs of violent extremist threats; and lead broader community mobilization in Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE).
Story By: Nelson Nyadror Adanuti