Ghana Needs to Prepare Adequately Against Terrorism
WACCE’s Executive Director, Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar, has warned that current developments within the West Africa region indicate that Ghana could be the next target of attacks if adequate steps are not taken to counter the threat. He explained that West Africa in the last ten years has remained a notorious and sustained epicentre for terrorist violence and radicalization. Ghana’s strong interaction with and proximity to Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria, and Cote d’Ivoire – all theatres for terrorist violence, continues to provoke predictions and fears that the country could become the next frontier for radicalization and terrorism in West Africa. ”And whilst fatality numbers are down today, current tactics and strategy suggest a competition for territorial dominance in new areas hitherto unknown to terrorism”. He indicated that all the indicators are clear that Ghana is a potential target, and that it obliges government to ensure an enhanced preparedness to successfully deal with the threat.
He was speaking in a panel interview with Uniiq FM at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) regarding the threat of terrorist attack on Ghana. In the last one week there has been extensive discussions over news of potential attacks on churches in Ghana by militants who have had a sustained terrorist campaign in Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso experienced 16 attacks in 2016 which increased to 33 attacks before escalating to 158 attacks in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The deteriorating security including kidnappings led to the resignation of Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba in January 2019. In a 20-minute video, the first in five years by Abubakar al-Baghdadi, he mentioned Burkina Faso, praising its militants for pledging allegiance to ISIS. The mention of Burkina Faso in the video demonstrates the importance of the militants to ISIS.
”The new miasma of insecurity created within the West Africa region in the last two years implies that Ghana needs to deepen real time intelligence sharing across borders, inter-agency coordination and effective local community outreach to build resilience against the threat of attacks. Importantly, governments within the region need to do more to offer real job opportunities for the unemployed youth to guarantee what they consider their entitlements of citizenship”.