WACCE Warns Against Counter-Terrorism Measures
Accra. Monday July 08, 2019.
WACCE has warned that state counter terrorism measures can in themselves produce terrorism if not appropriately gauged. WACCE’s Executive Director, Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar, argued that state counter terrorism measures that are arbitrary, abusive of human rights and are not intelligence-led have a tendency to draw disaffection from the local population and drive vulnerable youth down the path of terrorist violence. Mutaru was speaking at a panel discussion at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) chaired by Dr. Kwesi Aning, the director of the Faculty of Research at the centre on Thursday at the KAIPTC’s Reflection on Security Dialogue Series dubbed “Is West Africa Becoming the New ‘Arc’ of Instability in the Region?”
Mr Muqthar speaking on the topic “Preventing Radicalization, Preventing Terrorism in West Africa”. He indicated that in the past 10 years, West Africa had served as a notorious and sustained epicenter for radicalization and terrorists violence. He disclosed that an estimated more than 7,000 radicalized youth were believed to have joined in the terrorists’ campaign during this period. He said just like Togo and Benin, Ghana’s strong interaction with and proximity to Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Mali; all theatres for terrorist violence, implies that the country was not immune to attacks. He indicated the existence of similar vulnerability factors continue to provoke predictions and fears that the country could become the next new frontier for terrorism in West Africa.
He cautioned that states need to be conscious about the impact of measures on the local population. “Many youth in West Africa joined terrorist groups to avenge for the death of innocent members of their families and communities who were killed or maimed by State security measures. How states and the civilian community in the affected and yet-to-be affected countries response to these will define future security trends for the entire region.”
He was speaking alongside other security experts including Dr Festus Aubyn, Research Fellow, Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research (FAAR), Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and Chief Superintendent of Police Adofiem Raymond Wejong, Commanding Officer, Counter-Terrorism Department of the Ghana Police Service.