Government Urged to do More to Prevent Violent Extremism in Ghana
Bolgatanga – January 06, 2019.
The Executive Director of the West Africa Centre for Counter-Extremism (WACCE), Mr Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar, has urged the government to do more in the prevention, spread of radicalisation and violent extremism amongst the youth in Ghana.
He said the pervasive vulnerabilities such as the high number of unresolved chieftaincy conflicts, fierce political vigilantism, recurrent violence and the uncompromising political environment during political seasons can affect Ghana in a manner that could change the country’s security profile forever. He added that high youth unemployment have a tendency to tilt vulnerable youth towards large scale violence and terrorist recruitment.
Mr Muqthar was speaking at the close of a two-day capacity building workshop on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) in Ghana organised by WACCE at Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional Capital. The workshop which was organized with the support of the US Embassy was intended to deepen the understanding of the local community, youth and youth leaders, especially vulnerable communities on the threat of radicalization and its drivers. It focused on how the youth can play an active role in preserving peace in their communities.
The workshop also focused on youth self-development and how to legitimately realize their economic and social aspirations whilst contributing to positive social change.
He stressed that all nations, organizations and individuals who are committed to global peace agree that sustainable peace cannot be achieved without successes against radicalization and violent extremism. According to Mr Muqthar, this was inline and in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) No. 16 as well as ”in furtherance of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015) which recognises the crucial role of the youth in building sustainable peace”. He explained that the United Nations SDG 16 acknowledges violent extremism as a pervasive threat to global peace, and that its deadly sophistication requires a concerted action beyond law enforcement, military or security measures.
“It requires a non-security approach involving the civilian population. And what will be remarkable is how young people themselves and the local community decide to address this challenge”.
The WACCE Executive Director reveals that the biggest challenge Ghana faces was the youth vulnerability and the inability of the state to create adequate jobs or inspire the creation of adequate businesses in the private sector to absorb them. He said this exposes the youth to serious vulnerabilities with consequential impact on the country.
Mr Muqthar revealed that in WACCE’s 2018 research report on local security threats, the organization noted that chieftaincy and ethnic violence remains the single most pervasive source of insecurity, and fatality with over 352 unresolved conflicts currently nationwide.
Ms Matilda Ahadzi, a participant and member of the Catholic Women’s Association in Bolgatanga, expressed her joy and satisfaction on the interactive and practical nature of the workshop.
Mr Abdul Rahman Safian, a facilitator explained that this workshop could not have come at a better time than now, given the high level of youth unemployment, unresolved local conflicts and the vulnerable nature of the youth.
Participants were trained as Peace Ambassadors to see themselves as change makers, peer educators and leaders with a commitment to ensuring sustainable peace. The workshop was held to conclude WACCE 2018 PVE Campaign in Ghana for 2018.
WACCE in 2018 organized five workshops in Accra, Tamale and Bolgatanga to train over 500 youth on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization in Ghana.
Source: Ghana News Agency