West Africa: Terrorist attacks in the Sahel, West Africa – 538 dead, 127 injured in 159 attacks…in one month by extremists

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A total of 159 attacks by terrorists and extremists occurred in the Sahel and West Africa sub-region, National Security Minister Albert Kan-Dapaah revealed.

He said the attacks resulted in 538 deaths and 127 injuries and displaced many of the victims of the attacks, which took place between July 1 and August 28 this year.

Mr. Kan-Dapaah made the announcement as he opened a two-day workshop entitled “The Role of Civil Society Organizations in Ghana’s Border Security Management”.

It was organized by the Ghana Integrity Initiative, a local section of Transparency International, in cooperation with the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) for civil society partner organizations within the project Strengthening Border Security in Ghana (SBS Ghana).

The SBS Ghana is funded by the European Union Trust Fund for Africa and implemented by the Ghana Immigration Service and ICMPD.

The project aims, among others, to work closely with CSOs, universities, research and think tanks to submit research and action projects that highlight innovative approaches and best practices in the fields of mobility and border management.

At the beginning of the workshop, Mr. Kan-Dapaah expressed his concern about the growing threat of terrorism and extremism in the Sahel and West African region.

He said the Sahel and West African region were going through difficult times.

Mr. Kan-Dapaah noted that countries like Togo and Benin that were thought not to be under attack are currently under attack.

The Minister of National Security pointed out that insurgents had seized control of six of Burkina Faso’s thirteen regions.

He said Burkina Faso is in a strategic position in the sub-region.

Mr Kan-Dapaah said Ghana is not immune to attacks by terrorists and extremists and urged all involved to forestall any attack on the country.

“Security agencies and stakeholders are not sleeping and are working closely together to respond to the growing threat of terrorism and extremism in the subregion,” he said.

Mr Kan-Dapaah called for closer cooperation between security and state agencies and civil society organizations (CSOs) for effective border management to promote security and peace in the sub-region.

He said CSOs have data, skills and knowledge that could be used as part of efforts to ensure border security and peace in the subregion.

“This is the time when active engagement with CSOs is crucial if we are to keep the country safe,” he said.

He urged the media to exercise caution when reporting on security issues in order to maintain peace and security in the country.

The head of the European Union delegation to Ghana, Ichard Razaaly, said in his remarks that the security of the Sahel and the West African sub-region was threatened by extremist and terrorist activities.

He said promoting security in the border regions cannot be the government’s job alone.

Mr Razaaly said SBS Ghana can help contain the threat of violent extremism in the sub-region.

“This project will help create a new vision of what borders should look like,” said Mr. Razaaly.

GII Executive Director Ms. Linda Ofori-Kwafo said the rise of terrorism and extremism poses a threat to the sub-region.

She said the porous land borders left border communities vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Ms Ofori-Kwafo said SSB Ghana seeks support and cooperation in ensuring effective border security and the two-day program gave beneficiary CSOs the opportunity to receive a €700,000 grant to showcase their projects.

She called for the active involvement of CSOs in border security issues.

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