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Framework for Countering, Preventing Violent Extremism, Terrorism under review

The Ministry of National Security has held a stakeholders’ forum to collate inputs towards the review of the National Framework for Countering and Preventing Violent Extremism and Terrorism.

The three-day forum, which ended in Tamale with participants drawn from public institutions and civil society organisations in the Northern Region, was organised with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Australia and Germany.

The forum in Tamale was the first in a series of similar to be held in other regions of the country.

Mr Emmanuel Dadzie, Technical Director, National Security, speaking during the forum, said the review would shape the path of change for ‘Our security architecture placing us in a better position to secure the State against the threat of terrorism and violent extremism that was wreaking havoc in countries across the Sahel region and West Africa.’

Given that terrorism and violent extremism remain a major security threat confronting countries and Ghana’s location in a reg
ion currently designated as the epicentre of terrorism in the world, the Ministry of National Security in 2019, led the production of Ghana’s National Framework for Countering and Preventing Violent Extremism and Terrorism.

Since its launch in 2019, the National Framework for Countering and Preventing Violent Extremism and Terrorism has proven to be a useful document in enhancing the country’s counter-terrorism efforts.

However, the review of the document has become imperative for a number of reasons including the fact that the terrorist threat landscape in the West African region has undergone a significant evolution since the launch of the Framework.

Mr Dadzie said ‘At the time of the launch of the Framework, terrorist activities were largely concentrated in the Sahel region. Analysts, however, had begun observing a gradual southward drift of the threat from the Sahel region to Coastal West African States along the Gulf of Guinea.’

He said although the country had so far not recorded a terrorist attack,
the intensification of attacks in neighbouring countries particularly in areas proximal to Ghana’s northern frontier, shed ample light on the heightened risk for Ghana.

He said, ‘Against this backdrop, we cannot and should not be comfortable relying on a Framework, which was drawn at a time that the threat was relatively distant from our borders.’

Mr Dadzie said ‘This review process, therefore, affords us a golden opportunity to evaluate our successes and failures, and develop a deeper understanding of the robust measures that need to be taken going forward.’

Mr Sukhrob Khoshmukhamedov, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Ghana, pledged the commitment of UNDP to supporting the country’s efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism saying, ‘We consider youth and women as key stakeholders in development particularly through their role in preventing conflicts and promoting peace in Ghana.’

He said ‘This Framework should not overlook the critical economic, political, and social measures we need to engi
neer in order to assist in the fight against terrorism’ adding ‘Addressing issues of inequality, marginalisation of groups, access to education and health care, stimulating economic development in deprived communities, promoting inter-communal dialogue, enhancing religious tolerance, de-emphasising ethnic divisions and chieftaincy conflicts – these are necessary measures to the arsenal of security and intelligence resources needed.’

He said ‘In this regard, the UNDP stands ready to support Ghana in implementing these critical measures. UNDP will provide technical expertise, capacity-building support, and partnerships to address the underlying drivers of extremism.’

Madam Penny Dannis, Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner to Ghana expressed confidence that the review would lead to ‘A robust Framework that better positions Ghana to confront the security challenges she faces while fostering strong and inclusive communities, who find themselves at the forefront of the threat.’

Source: Ghana News Agency